The faster you go, the slower you get.

What drives you?

What are you passionate about? Helping your members, helping your neighbors, helping your community? All very worthwhile and worthy endeavors. But what really drives you deep inside? For some of us it might be climbing that elusive mountain or running that marathon. For me, it’s racing—more precisely endurance sports car racing. No, not just getting in your car and ‘going fast.’ That’s not racing; that’s being reckless.

Driving has always been a passion of mine. I learn so much from it. Having the experience as both a driver and a coach for the past twenty years, then trying to figure out how to improve performance, has been enlightening. When you drive, you get information from most of your senses. You see, hear, smell and feel the motion of the vehicle. All of this input helps you to be aware of your driving environment, to predict what might happen and to assess how to react. I enjoy the challenge of finding the right way to express my passion in what we so often feel through the seats of our pants.

Competition is what drives me—overcoming the challenge of spending up to two hours at a time in intense battle on track—very often in demanding physical environments with tight quarters, hot surroundings and always on the limits of adhesion.

Or as we prefer to call it, keeping the rubber on the track. Depending on my teammates’ experience and input is also vital in this pursuit. We work as a team to overcome adversity with a singular focus: proving to ourselves that we can succeed is what drives us.

Overcoming the odds is indeed what all of us are confronting these days. In the midst of a pandemic and economic hardship for many, I find many parallels between racing and meeting the current crises head on. Similar to a racecar, our world is constantly accelerating with kinetic energy. Keep a cool head, look far ahead, anticipate problems and be ready to react instantly. Much as sensory input helps your brain understand and decide when to accelerate, steer or brake, let your members’ voices and input help you steer your credit union in the right direction.

In racing circles there’s an oft-spoken mantra: the faster you go, the slower you get. I reflect on this every time I’m in my racecar. I force myself to clear my thoughts, to focus so intensely that time does indeed slowdown, which in turn improves my lap times.

Perhaps you can turn your passion into action for your credit union.

Olivier Raoust, CEO Raoust+Partners