David L. Pollard, President, CommunIcan Consulting, Inc. , Speaker, Trainer, Coach

I have known Tony Berry literally all of his life - long before he was a "logo" known as AJB Racing - long before he had a great reputation. I have come to appreciate Tony on at least three levels:
(1) Competitor
(2) Resourceful/Creative
(3) Motivated (and motivator)
I have been to many of Tony's races; I have seen him win and lose. He is always thinking "strategy." If he has been at the back of the pack, he is always trying to figure out how to get to the front. If he is at the front, he is constantly working at staying there and he knows where he is, where others are and where he needs to be. His focus is NOT on the trophy or award he got the previous year or race; rather on THIS race.
There are not many activities that I know of where resourcefulness is as needed as auto racing. I have been around Tony when car parts have broken, equipment didn't work right, or people didn't do what they said they would. I have seen him go to another competitor and ask for help (and receive it). I have seen him make adjustments to his car in between races and go back on the track at the next race - and WIN. All of this happens because of the resourcefulness, creativity and passion to do what is needed to stay on top; no matter what the task.
I had an opportunity to work closely with Tony for more than a week when he was a High School Senior.  I coached him on a professional level while he was campaigning to be President of  DECA, a respected organization on both high school and college level. He was willing to commit a year of his life to represent that organization, traveling all around the country. It would have meant delaying his college education during that time. He ran the campaign as if he was running for President of the United States where similar skills are required. He had to do the planning, manage a staff of paid and unpaid people, develop a budget and convince people to vote for him. There were over 17,000 very talented high school marketing and business students in attendance. Tony lost this election by only 25 votes; I learned first hand what a "winner" Tony became in "defeat." I saw how motivated he was working around the clock achieving his goal; the amount of preparation he did to present his "vision" for the organization, and the amount of flexibility he displayed. He met with 100's of people from the sophistication of New York to highly professional people of Arizona from down-home approaches of Minnesota to seasoned people of Wisconsin and Texas. I saw a "boy" become a "man" right in front of my eyes at an auditorium of 1000's of people. Tony was required to debate his opponent and answer spontaneous questions on the spot. Tony won the debate because of his level of "real" motivation, even if he didn't win the election. He accomplished something even more valuable: he won the respect of everyone in the audience. At the end of his presentation, the team members of his competition (and eventual winner) came over to congratulate Tony for the degree of respect they gained for him.
                 I don't coach Tony anymore; he has become his own coach. He is still open to my advice; I just know his competitiveness, resourcefulness and his inner sense of motivation will carry him through. I was once told by one of my mentors that to be successful you have to motivate others to action and you have to be motivated BY others. Tony is that person.

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