Get a Winning Edge


By Elvis L. Hoffpauir,president and COO MACS Worldwide

Not unlike the more than 10,000 athletes from 204 countries who descended on London for the XXX Olympiad, members of our industry are obliged to cope with a highly competitive environment in which the bar for success is continually raised.

Moment by moment the records tumbled at the 2012 Olympics, as another athlete redefined “fastest,” “strongest,” or “most graceful.” Some might call it heresy, but even the historic, perfect score of 10 achieved by gymnast Nadia Comaneci during the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal is not unassailable – some conjecture how that performance might be scored by judges in light of the current level of competition. (Of course, Nadia retired over 30 years ago.)

OK, so you’re not in London for the Olympics…you’re in Vacaville, or Des Moines or maybe Baton Rouge. Crowds don’t line the streets as you drive to work. Throngs of screaming spectators don’t greet you as you step into your arena. But like the athletes in London, you’re going for the gold in your own way, and your game is more important to you than any athletic endeavor.

Athletes who excel generally benefit from great coaching, thousands of hours applying themselves to their chosen discipline, using the best that science and technology has to offer, always looking for the next thing that can give them an edge, and those are the same things that can help us all excel. USA Today recently reported that some Olympians (including the U.S. women’s field hockey team) have turned to the Navy SEALs for inspiration and motivation. Reportedly, four hours with the SEALs will “reset your baseline.” No doubt.

In our case, turning to the SEALS might be a bit over the top, but entrepreneurs can and have benefitted by learning from peers, mentors, specialty “boot camps” focused on various facets of business – benefitted, in short, from great coaching and training.*

Then there is the issue of putting in the time at our business. One thinks, long days, short weekends…check. But the athlete doesn’t reach that center pedestal and get to listen to their country’s anthem being played if they just show up at the training center every day and go through the motions. He or she has to get better at doing what they do – and so do we.

As for making the most of science and technology, too many of us balk at the notion. Thoughts of “the good old days” serve as a comfortable and safe refuge from change. The least fortunate among us manage to ignore exploding technologies, cultural shifts and other modern realities until the world has moved on…without us.

For today’s athletes, and for those of us in this business, it’s helpful to consider just how thin the winning margin is: the length of a finger, a fraction of a second, the slightest hesitation, a barely discernible wobble on a balance beam, or one step out of line in an otherwise flawless routine.

We can take from this that every little bit helps us in our business: an idea, a contact, a new hire, the right tool or piece of equipment, a little advice. We may not know exactly what contributes to our success, so it’s best to seize every opportunity when you go for the gold.

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*Mark your calendar! There is no better place to get the coaching and training you and your technicians need than at the 2013 MACS Training Event, February 6 – 9, 2013 at the Caribe Royale Hotel & Convention Center in Orlando, Florida.

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About macsworldwide

Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide Founded in 1981, MACS is the leading non-profit trade association for the mobile air conditioning, heating and engine cooling system segment of the automotive aftermarket. Since 1991, MACS has assisted more than 600,000 technicians to comply with the 1990 U.S. EPA Clean Air Act requirements for certification in refrigerant recovery and recycling to protect the environment. The Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide’s mission is clear and focused--as the recognized global authority on mobile air conditioning and heat transfer industry issues. www.macsw.org
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