Hard work, high pressure, and the pursuit of excellence – David McMillan came to speak for the Intecho team and give a personal insight into the F1 philosophy of excellence


Last month we were fortunate enough to be visited by real-life action man – David McMillan.


The former counter-terrorism technician, F1 racing engineer – now turned professional elite sports coach, has worked almost exclusively in high performance, high stakes environments where his life and those of others depended on his success.

If that wasn’t enough – he’s spent a lot of his spare time climbing the worlds’ highest mountains including Mt Everest and Cho Oyu in the Himalayas.


David came to the Intecho Headquarters to share some exciting stories from his career and to pass on what he believes are the most valuable lessons he learned along the way. He also gave a few practical examples of how the “F1 philosophy of excellence” can be translated into tangible steps which any business or person can use to optimise their performance.



…what really is “excellence”?


To many, it’s a buzz word that’s lost its edge through years of overuse. But to David, excellence is something tangible which he lives by and strives to apply to everything he does.

He began by taking us through his life, starting with his school years and discussing what he did differently to his peers, and how those choices led him to live this high-octane life.


Surprisingly, he attributed much his winning edge during early years to simple actions which anyone can take, no talent necessary. He explained to our team that hard work, dedication, and a positive mindset were amongst the main factors responsible for landing him his first job – working in counterterrorism for the Cabinet Office, which took him to over 50 countries around the world, and into the most secure sites in the UK including Number 10 Downing Street, and the Royal Estates.

This same approach, along with some other habits can be applied to individuals and companies alike. During his time working in F1, David learned the true meaning of teamwork and excellence – working for Red Bull and Aston Martin racing teams in the famous pit-stop lanes, where split seconds can make the difference between success and failure.

He recounted stories of this high-pressure environment and explained that a bad attitude is like a puncture, and that the only way a team can perform at its best is when everyone works together with a no-blame culture.

We were left feeling energised and inspired by David’s presentation, each one of us feeling that they took away something which they could work on.

We’d like to thank David again for coming to speak to us and for sharing his inspiring stories.