It’s Cup Day. Melbourne Cup. The final field of 22 horses is running around the Flemington Race Track until they’ve clocked up 3200m. It’s in its 154th year.
I remember we’d stop whatever we were doing in class and Mrs Tomkinson would put on the radio at 3pm so we could listen to the race. The only other time I recall that happening at school was to hear these words live: “It’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”. (Yes, I was at school in 1969!)
It’s a big deal here. It’s a public holiday. It’s the race that stops a nation.
Listening to the commentators about the race this morning got me thinking about some of the similarities with the workplace. Here are my 14 entries:
The 2014 Melbourne Cup
This year it’s about “the foreign invaders”
It’s a global marketplace
There’s only room for 24 starters
Not everyone gets to the top
It’s the richest handicap two mile race in the world
It’s worth getting to the top, at least financially
The horses range from young (3 years) to old (9 years)
It’s inter-generational in the office too
Youngest does not mean fastest – it can take time for a horse to mature
Same for humans, it’s never too late
Good breeding helps
Having raw ability and talent is an advantage
They always talk about the horse’s connections
They say your network is your net worth
Nothing beats preparation
Yep, nothing beats preparation
The barrier draw can be crucial – wide barriers suit those who like to make their run later on
Music to all late bloomers
Male horses (geldings/colts) win more often than females (mares/fillies)
Unfortunately true at work too
It’s handicapped so the competition is as even as possible
I wish it were a meritocracy but it’s not
Silks – referring to the colors the jockey wears
It can help to look the part
We haven’t been training our horses for longer distances – it takes longer to start earning. It’s starting to change.
Again, music for late bloomers
The best trainers are celebrities here – hats off to Bart Cummins and Gai Waterhouse.
Do you have the best trainer for you?
If you feel like you haven’t run your race yet, there are a few entries here for late bloomers. There’s plenty you can do.
If you’ve had success and still want to be in it, don’t rest on your laurels. If you do, I fear you’ll end up at the back of the field.
But never forget your successes. They serve to remind you that you’ve got what it takes.
Remember them while you’re running your own race this week.