William Liao

March 15, 2022

Toto Wolff

One of the things that I admire about Toto Wolff, Team Principal & CEO Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team (8-time winner of the F1 constructor's championship), is his ruthless attention to growing in all aspects of his life. 

Here are some principles & accompanying quotes from Wolff that I think offer a good glimpse into his mindset:

Do not rely on yesterday's accomplishments. 

“We are trying with simple actions to forget about the success of the past few years. Every point goes to zero and you can build upon the organization but as everything starts from new, you have to earn your laurels again.” 

Set daily targets to cut out the noise.

“I am a believer of target setting because it reminds you every single day of what you actually want to achieve. It takes away all the clutter, all the noise” “You need to wake up in the morning with a sense of purpose and clear objectives, and that keeps you going.”

If you want to know your performance, you have to measure it . 

“Whatever I do, I try to set objectives that reflect success or failure.”

Be honest with yourself daily about your performance and how you can improve. 

“I’m brutally honest with myself every day. In the evening, looking in the mirror, washing my face, brushing my teeth, I judge myself and I say, ‘How was I today? Where do you think there is room for improvement?’ And I would look at the positives in the same way as when I look at the negatives.”

Compete with yesterday. 

“I try to be better tomorrow than today.” 

In parts of Wolff's language, you may have noticed that he has a very process-oriented mind and that, more than anything, he focuses on maximizing each day. He clearly defines what he will aim to accomplish in the morning, executes throughout the day, and then reflects on what went well, what didn't go well, and why, at day's end, to figure out how to improve the next day. 

Take a page out of Wolff's book: focus your energy on today by setting targets based on your priorities in life, executing to the best of your ability, and reflecting honestly at the end of each day on how you can make progress in the next day. 

Everything else, as far as progress is concerned, is noise. 

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