This is Marc Marquez on Friday October 4 ...
And this is Marc Marquez less than 48 hours later ...
So, what happened in between?
Two words: Learning Moments.
I rode over 1000km last week to Buriram, in the remote reaches of eastern Thailand, to watch the MotoGP for the first time. I was expecting to learn and write about speed as a competitive weapon in our businesses. Instead, I find myself writing about managing fear of failure.
This was triggered by the news of a horrific crash in training on Friday (just after the massive rains cleared up), as World Champion Marquez lost his handling on Turn 7. He somersaulted off the track and lay prone on all fours for a while as the crowd anxiously held its breath.
He was later taken by ambulance to the local hospital for MRI scans.
Would he be OK? Would he be competing again for all the fans this weekend?
"When you crash at 350km/h you only think of standing up again," the 7-time world champion tell us. "No one likes to crash."
Saturday dawned, and Marquez was champing at the bit to get back on the bike, and clinch another pole position from the qualifying rounds that day.
It was great to see the blur of his orange-and-red bike and racing suit roaring past down the straight at nearly 355km/h again. So, what was he thinking?
"The first rival is ourselves, there are no friends on the track, you must be selfish and have no limits."
But then disaster again, as he crashed out on Turn 5 this time, sliding off the track in to the gravel. Would he be able to back up after a second crash in only 2 days?
Sunday's MotoGP main event arrived and he rode what many considered to be the ride of his life, trailing in second for the most part before some sneaky, daring, and outrageous riding skill saw him take the chequered flag by just 0.171 of a second.
He became an 8-time world champion in the process.
So what can we learn as creative leaders about this remarkable performance?
I believe he learned where the edge of his best performance was. And that edge was in the micro-moments just before he lost control and crashed both times. He knew what he, his Honda, and his team were capable of. He knew the extreme he could push himself and his machine too. And in the race he did exactly that. To perfection.
Lesser people might have lost their nerve on the Friday, at the first crash. You know what it's like when a product launch doesn't go as planned? We get dispirited, right? Others might've given up after the second crash, thinking to themselves these are not the right market conditions for success. But he was learning, learning, learning.
Plus he had the balls to get back on the bike -- mentally and physically undaunted -- and apply those learnings for a determined and glorious win.
So, what are you afraid of today? What's holding you back from your best performance at work and in life? Go and find your edges. What does extreme marketing look like? What does extreme process speed look like? What does extreme hiring look like?
Now go and perform to just within those limits. Good luck, and we'll see you on the winner's podium.