Choosing Your Words Wisely
As everyone knows by now, last Saturday, Todd Gilliland got his first win in the Gander Outdoor Truck Series. Congratulations Todd. It’s always good to see a first-time winner. It was a long time in coming and some folks’ eyes, especially your truck owner, Kyle Busch, long overdue. Hopefully, now that you have kicked the door open, you will find yourself going through it many times in the future, be it at this level or beyond.
Now about that post-race language.
Yes, it had to sting when your car owner called you and teammate Harrison Burton out, comparing your results to excrement. That’s understandable. I think anyone would be upset if in your position. To be criticized like that would be tough to take, if done in private. To be publicly called out like had to be painful.
To finally get that win... The release of emotion and feeling of vindication is understandable.
If, after getting that win after your performance behind the wheel had been described by your boss as excrement, didn’t elicit a “take this, in your face” response, folks would have been surprised. If I were in your shoes, I’m not sure I could have let the moment go without saying something.
Just not sure it would have been that. There may have been a better way. If you are going to sound off like you did, remember, your choice of words is crucial.
Now that you’ve gotten your first win, hopefully more wins will be in your future. With more wins, comes more attention, more opportunities to speak, and more people listening. As you go forward, remember to pick your words carefully. Be yourself but choose your words carefully.
In the meantime, remember three names-Mike Helton, Richard Petty and Kyle Busch. Each NASCAR figure has provided the perfect responses for any driver in nearly any situation.
“The Boss” Mike Helton… “It is what it is”
“The King” Richard Petty… “Just one of those racing deals.”
“Your Boss” Kyle Busch… “I’m not surprised by anything. Congratulations.”
Kyle’s words were added as his seven-second post-race interview, after he finished second in the 2017 Coca-Cola 600. Priceless.
The beauty of these quotes is they can be used individually or in combination to address almost anything you are going to encounter.
When your boss called you and Harrison out the way he did, a classy Mike Helton and Richard Petty combo would have been a nice counter. Fans know exactly what you meant. Keeps you on the high road.
When your boss had issues at Las Vegas a few weeks ago with Garrett Smithley, Garrett could have used all three, minus “Congratulations” to make it “It is what it is; just one of those racing deals. Nothing surprises me.” That pretty much covers it. Didn’t need to say anything else. Now after the Kansas Xfinity racing deal, Garrett was pretty much on his own. I’m not sure anything really covers that but those words, when used properly can help you as you go forward. The way you use them, volume, inflection, delivery makes them yours and sends an unmistakable message.
Also remember these words, (slightly modified) from that great singer, songwriter Jim Croce when he so wisely advised that
“... you don't tug on superman's cape
You don't spit into the wind
You don't pull the mask off that old lone ranger
And you don't diss boss Kyle after a win”
So as you finish out the season and prepare for the next, just remember these three names-Mike Helton, Richard Petty and Kyle Busch. Their words can help... especially if you find yourself on the outside looking in for 2020.
“It is what it is; just one of those racing deals. I’m not surprised by anything.”