Access Granted - Tomorrow's Business Ethics

“I am a Racer”, conclusions for Ethics, Compliance and Artificial Intelligence

Formula One driver Michael Schumacher said once: “I am a racer, I push things to the absolute edge.” His career is the best proof of the statement. After winning twice the championship with Benetton in 1994 and ’95, he left his personal comfort zone to join the Scuderia Ferrari. At that time he could have stayed with Benetton and had been the favorite to win the title also in ’96. Nevertheless he did this, as for most racers, his goal was not only to win the championship, but to win it with the most prestigious team. Doing so, he had been well aware that this change would not only include driving, but he would have the additional challenge to build up the whole team to achieve competitiveness. This goal was, of course, not to reach in the next season, but took Schumacher five years. But then it became an impressive series as he won the championship from 2000 to ’04. After the ’06-season he retired as an active driver to become an adviser for Ferrari.

2001: Ferrari F2001, 3.0L, V10, 600kg, design by Ror Byrne and Ross Brawn
2001: Ferrari F2001, 3.0L, V10, 600kg, design by Ror Byrne and Ross Brawn

As a born racer, he needed the competition, even if it was not about to win titles, but just go to his personal limits. He not only practiced sky diving, but started in 2008 an ’09 also in the IDM Superbike-series. An accident here prevented a temporary Formula One-comeback to replace Felipe Massa.

Besides being a racer, Schumacher always uses his privileged position to give back and support numerous charity organizations. Even if he had sports-spirit and a sense of justice, in the heat of the moment he lost these in some race situations. After an accident with his direct competitor Jacques Villeneuve at the final race of the ’97 tournament, he got disqualified, not only for the race, but the complete drivers’ championship.

Nothing special related to him, in fact similar black-outs happened to Ayrton Senna, Luis Hamilton or Sebastian Vettel. All good sportsmen which are supporting charity, all of them “success seekers”. These characters tend to overestimate their own abilities and underestimate the risks of the situation. For the “failure avoiders” it is the other way around. Thanks to self-selection the first group of people will try to get more risky tasks with the goal that they can prove their selves and advance faster in their career, they will apply to positions in sales or become a race driver. In sudden and new projects they see the opportunity, but not the risk. Based on this characteristics, they are vulnerable for psychological pressures, known as “ethical blindness”.

What this further means for Ethics, Compliance and Artificial Intelligence analyzes the podcast:



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