Irish driving legend Derek Daly is the epitome of the Complete Champion. From the Victory Circle to the Announcer’s Desk, Hall of Fame Race Car Driver and Network Television Color Analyst Daly has spent nearly three decades as the face of the motorsport world. He counts Sylvester Stallone, David Letterman and Jay Leno amongst his friends.
Born and raised in Dublin, Ireland to a middle class working family, Derek’s career path was set at the age of twelve when he attended his first auto race. From that moment, his commitment to the dream of being a professional driver was unshakeable. On the way to his dream he worked as a laborer in the iron ore mines of Australia and, while travelling the race tracks of England, even taking up residence in a school bus.
Derek’s professional racing career spanned 17 years and his experiences are nothing short of breathtaking. Daly’s story is one that precious few have lived to tell. In 1984, Derek suffered one of the hardest crash impacts that a driver had ever survived when he hit the wall at Michigan International Speedway at 212 MPH. After fourteen surgeries and three years in therapy, he returned to full-time racing. He competed in the 12 Hours of Sebring – one of the premier motorsport endurance races in the US – and won the race two years in a row.
His early dreams became reality when he won Irish, British and European championship events. In 1978, he competed in the Formula One World Championship, and two short years later Derek was ranked 10th in the world. In 1983 he made his first of six starts in the Indianapolis 500.
In 1985 Derek started a 10 year association with ESPN as a motor sport color analyst. He became the face of motor sports, seen on NBC, CBS, Fox and Speed Channel. USA Today highlighted Derek as “the best new face on sports television” and IndyCar Racing magazine voted Derek “the most popular motor sports television announcer.”
Moet & Chandon champagne awarded Derek the Joules Goux Award for his outstanding contributions to motor sports television. He was later nominated by ESPN for an Ace Award, and Derek received the 2000 Hall of Fame Award from “Motor Sport Ireland” for his leadership of Irish motor sport.
Derek literally wrote the book on how to become a ‘Complete Champion’. Race To Win: How to Become a Complete Champion was heralded a “future classic” by the Irish Times. Friend, former race competitor and international auto racing superstar Mario Andretti contributed the foreword: “Derek’s book teaches lessons it took guys like me years to learn. Quite honestly, I believe the advice in this book resonates far beyond the racing industry.”
Derek has taught the timeless principles of his most valuable asset – speed. Companies like Xerox, Bayer, Deloitte, Growmark, USDA, Department of Defense, Federal Reserve Bank, Pepsico, State Farm, Zurich Insurance and Gallo wines have depended on Derek’s Complete Champion Model to motivate, inspire and enlighten their teams.
Derek and his three sons reside outside of Indianapolis, Indiana. Derek became an American Citizen on September 28, 1993, but retains his wonderful Irish accent.
Remember Good to Great back in the 90’s? Today, it has shifted from Great to Extraordinary. Align this platform with the right culture, and your team can develop something truly unique; a Culture of Extraordinary. Imagine your team learning how to think and act differently as they push themselves to the edges and boundaries of what might be possible. Your team will embrace what it means to go beyond their best. Derek uses powerful, real-life sports analogies in a unique, compelling and often hilarious manner that leaves audiences in awe. Even the US Government DoD enjoyed this topic.
If the speed of your business continues to increase in the next 10 years, ask yourself; How Fast can you get Fast? Derek takes your team down the success road to understand the critical difference between going fast and being fast. They will grasp how Trust and Preparation become the cornerstones of teams who push against boundaries. They will learn how to achieve trailblazing performance and understand why corporations sometimes struggle to emulate these valuable traits. This topic has energized both male and female audiences from California to the Czech Republic.
Having survived the hardest crash impact a driver had ever survived, Derek shares his near death experience that led to a safety initiative in racing that continues today. Your team will learn how his sport continues to develop the safest high performance equipment and work environments; that has literally saved lives. Understanding this will empower your front line employees to make quick decisions, with limited information, in compressed time frames. You will understand that Compliance does not replace Responsibility. Learn how your team can make critical performance gains by embracing intelligent risks, as it activates its own S.A.F.E. model (Speed, Agility, Framework, Execution). No one remains emotionally neutral as they grasp his breathtaking global experiences.
“Derek was absolutely spectacular! Without exaggeration, he could not have been better. I have been told by dozens of attendees that this year’s conference was the best ever. A large part of that is due to Derek and his terrific presentation. I want to add that Derek was the perfect gentleman. Both before and after the sessions he took the time to chat with those who wished to speak with him. He also worked with us to ensure every aspect of his presentation was just right. All in all, we could not have asked for a better keynote speaker.”
“It was an absolute pleasure… two wonderful sessions… even today as I pass through the hallways I hear staff talking about your front of the grid analogy . . .”
“What was great about your presentation skills is that you don’t pretend to be an expert on your audience’s specific business line, you allow your audience to connect the dots between your racing principles and their respective businesses. Very effective.”
“Derek did a fantastic job!!! . . . the crowd was engaged. . . . we had to send slides from his presentation to our investors because so many people were requesting copies. We would recommend him to anyone!”
“Great speaker. Mixed in stories about his career with just the right messages about teamwork and change. While not everyone in the audience was interested in racing, they all enjoyed hearing his stores. I highly recommend him for any event. We have already had inquiries from attendees as to how they can hire him for events they’re having.”