Updated: Dec 18, 2019
I seriously considered not posting this, and was warned not to post this, but I think that this was such a huge turning point in Kabort Motorsport, and such a huge chain of events, and holds such importance to me that I have decided to upload it.
This will appear at the bottom of all posts, (Originally Posted: Nov, 2019) out of respect of those involved. I just wanted to post it to show that we all have ups and downs, and we are human beings - we all make mistakes, we have just got to learn from these, pick ourselves up from them, brush off the dirt and keep striving onward. So, without further ado - Let's begin. Last Wednesday, Gas sent me a direct message on discord saying "Heya, when u have some spare time and good clean air - I'd love to chat about a few things." To which I was totally open to. He then went into detail on aspects in the team that could do with a little bit of development, which I was really glad about, because despite the team having 24 drivers, I do always love receiving improvements/suggestions to improving to team. He said the following, adding that I had to read, think before then responding: "1. Define The Roles
I. Solid foundation is set, building the team unit and development of the management structure must become vital. This helps to:
i. Know/learn the limits
ii. Understand what is important to the group as a whole as well as individuals
iii. Employ others strengths to achieve what you cannot alone
II. Provide means to share the management of the team with capable members
i. increase the investment
ii. increase involvement
iii. grants responsibilities and accountability/“ownership”
iv. creates trust and loyalty both ways
III. GOALS ACHIEVED AS A TEAM
2. Outsource Responsibilities
I. No man is an army, you cannot run this team alone
i. Like “paints” you cannot do everything yourself, even if time were not a factor, no single man can claim mastery of all skills
II. Identify team member strengths
i. Offer opportunities,
ii. Promote growth
iii. Loops back to increasing investment and involvement amongst team
III. Team members must feel admin is in control and “covered” by those responsible at all times, doubt should not be created, compliments are abundant when the job is done consistently
IV. POSITIVE EXPERIENCE MUST BE PROMOTED AT ALL TIMES 3. Team Planning & Organisation
I. Team goals must be
iv. Promote growth through achievement
II. All load and worry taken off the drivers
i. Some will just want to drive, they need to trust admin is covered as well as understand the plan clearly and in advance
ii. Others will want to be involved and help plan and organise, motivation is easy through involvement
III. NOURISH THE TEAM PHILOSOPHY
i. Becomes Modus Operandi if it is easily identifiable through the practice of the management team
ii. Easy for new drivers to understand and fit into the goals
4. Practise & Preach
I. Great foundation as mentioned
II. Time to envision and execute efficiently as the team grows larger.
i. Identify what is important and address it with priority that is “felt” throughout
ii. Fun things don’t run away, don’t delay what is important (store example, mentioning to know limits and know not to get carried away)
III. Team Principal and the management team set the example that the rest of the team will follow, you have the chance to choose the examples that are set for your team (use the strengths of others)
IV. KNOW THE MISSION TOGETHER
V. NEVER UNDO HARD WORK that’s been done to create what exists
One last one, it’s more a personal one
5. Get on the road/track more often, make sure your team know their owner is here to race the same as they are and show them that as often as needs be. You don’t need to be consistent in your time dedications if your “message” to the team is consistently clear"
So, I put this "format" into a word document, thought for a while and responded to each point, saying how I would act upon this. I will add the word document below: Kabort_Motorsport_Gen_3_1.docx One of the points covered creating a "management" group or moderators - just people who would help me run the team. This was the beginning of the end. I made a group of the people I trusted most, consisting of: Jeff (Racer from RSR E-sports who also owns his own team), Nicholas (was present very early on in the team and knows LMP1 very well), Shaw (Ferrari GTE driver), Tim (been in the team since the start), Gas (who gave me all the list of the things that I should think about) and Joseph (very knowledgeable and vocal) They originally liked this document and what I had said in it as they could see change was on the horizon, and they hoped that I would act upon these. In the beginning it was all positive and good news...we had a friendly chat, and Jeff helped (by creating 2 new chat channels in the Kabort Motorsport server).
Jeff had an idea in his head of how to fix the team/problems and I just foolishly let him crack on with it. I should have actually done something and worked as a team WITH him instead of throwing my hands up in the air in desperation. After all, it is my team, and I WAS the one to get us into this situation.
The only reason I called upon Jeff was to help improve the team, not get me out of the trouble that I had got in.... It's like driving a Lamborghini Huracan to Glastonbury whilst wearing Gucci. You know it will get stuck, and you know will ruin your Gucci clothes, but you wear them anyway and drive the Lambo there anyway. After the weekend, you attempt to leave. Obviously, it's rained, and now you are stuck. You ask a sensible man wearing dungarees and wellington boots for some help. He was only there to listen to the live weekend concert...and the worst part is you can't even get out of your car because of your Gucci Slides.
The discussion all started with how the Le Mans weekend - in fact both weekends didn't go super well with scheduling and stints. Everything was planned very last minute (all within 24 hours of the race itself). This evolved into how I acted upon very few of the suggestions that the team suggested, which was true. I responded to this, giving answers as to why I declined the suggestions.
Nobody was very aggressive, they understood - yet it all boiled down to having someone "in power" with me - helping me control/manage/moderate the team. And then Joseph left.
"Team Principle, Please accept this letter as notice of resignation from my positions within Kabort Motorsport. My last day will be today, Nov. 3, 2019. I have been approached with an opportunity I cannot turn down. I've accepted a position within their organisation and they would like to start working immediately. By removing myself from Kabort, I hope to avoid any conflict of interests. It has been a learning experience working alongside you and your team over the last three months. Kabort Motorsport is poised for continued growth and I wish you much success with your upcoming seasons. The help you will receive from Jeff will be instrumental to the success of this team and I highly recommend you use it as much as you can. Robin, thank you for the opportunities you have given me in my time here with Kabort Motorsport. They will serve as a great foundation which I shall use to grow into my new role. Thank you. Joseph Griffin"
Since Joseph left that night, the avalanche went from bad to slightly worse I should have done something sooner/earlier - or listened and accepted to try and make the suggestions from my team. Just trying, and showing that you are listening and trying to make the team a better place is better than not doing anything. I could have also done more in/to the team in general (including practicing and racing more as well as taking responsibility for my actions and words), but it's just a shame how it ended and turned out. His final moments with the team which he spent months with and used a lot of energy, time and money with ended in turmoil, tears and upset. It was sad that we couldn't celebrate the start to his his new journey with him. Here's what he said after I informed him about what had happened after he left: "I'm sorry if that's what's happened. My departure has been on my mind for over a week, and I was not planning to leave until the end of this season. But, with recent transgressions I believed it was within my best interest, and Kabort's, to leave at this time. I believed that by leaving now, you could reshape the team with the help of Jeff. Which you must be willing to accept. He knows what he's doing. He sincerely wants to help you. Try to be open to it and let it fly for a while. See what happens. See what improves. You have to have an open mind at this point Robin. You cannot succeed by putting your hands in every single honey pot. Let some things go and sit back for a bit. Watch how it all rolls out. Bottom line is, if you want Kabort to succeed. You MUST be willing to accept change. If you cannot do that. You will fail. It's a harsh truth, but I sincerely want you to take it to heart and move forward with that mindset. I want you to succeed. I want to see Kabort atop leader-boards. But you have to be willing to accept that you cannot do everything and control everything." after more discussing with the remaining members, I had 3 final options 1) Find someone who will "lead" the team/ help sort the problems/help run Kabort 2) Start afresh, potential re-branding/wipe the slate clean 3) Leave it as it is and see where it goes I was obviously not going to leave it, because obviously in a situation like this, the worst thing you can do is to not give a sh*t/leave it to rot... I tried to find someone to lead, but in the end nobody stepped up - weather that was because everyone was sick and tired of everything, or it was the middle of the night, or for other reasons... So I decided to start afresh..... Before this however, another of our huge drivers Nicholas, who had been at Kabort since day 1 also left. Whilst creating the new server (which was also a mistake, as Jeff wanted me to turn a new slate on the existing server) - Shaw too left Kabort Motorsport. Dave said he needed a break too (one or two races). Later, he officially announced he wasn't returning. Finally Gas said that despite joining Kabort Motorsport being one of his highlights, he wanted stability and to drive with drivers that he was close to, and unfortunately, after the events of that night, and with the drivers that had already left Kabort could not give that stability. He further hopes that the contributed positively (Which he significantly did) and that he wants to see the Kabort colours/name find a way to shine in the future. This was especially lovely as despite all the chaos that was going on, and those leaving, and the bombs I was throwing at Kabort (to metaphorically destroy it), Gas still respected and loved Kabort Motorsport, and was absolutely gutted to be leaving "this decision is more difficult for me to make that it is for you to hear", but I feel as though it was the only option he had. In the space of less than 5 hours, we lost 5 drivers - 2 LMP1's, 3 GTE's. This whole experience was like being on a missile...which I, myself launched, it was going to blow at some point, but I had no idea when...I can see the ground zooming towards me...but I don't know when to brace for impact. And the impact comes at the time I least expected. I didn't just severely injure myself, but those around me, I was mopey and sad, they were distraught that I didn't listen to them and had to essentially go to the last resort. - Robin