Leadership lessons learned on the run

180507 22For the past few months as part of the Huron iMatter-Veterans community, I have been blessed to engage in the Burpee for Veterans challenge.

Reminder: 22 Veterans are committing suicide per day … awareness is a start and there is much more to do.

[Veterans crisis line 1-800-273-8255 and more information]

Today, as I considered my seven-time rebuilt knees and the example others have shown of 300 burpees per day as part of marathon prep, I decided to run my first 5k in a very long time prior to Burpee time.

(Yes, my bride too said with my knees it made no sense.)

Did I win?

Was I really racing is a better question.

But I was reminded of an important lesson that applies to all leaders.

As I ran (note: I am using the term ‘ran’ very loosely) …

… I noticed one runner in particular pass me. Younger and faster he was. But the reason I noticed him was his runner’s gait. Frenetic energy one might say. All arms and legs moving in a jitterbug dance like fashion carrying him well beyond my line of site and yet drawing attention as he went … from me and many others.

Now don’t get me wrong, my ego began to kick in and I truly wanted to get after it and compete.

But I thought the better of it and maintained my pace. The pace I knew based on my understanding of me that I could maintain to achieve the outcome (the goal) I set for myself.

180825 Running lessons3.jpgAs I rounded one of the last turns of the beautiful Back Cove here in Portland Maine I saw my jitterbugging competition bending over with one hand on a tree, supporting his now much stilled frame, as he gasped to take in air.

And after a brief check in as to his status, I continued on my way to the finish line.

180825 the-hare-and-the-tortoise.jpg


The Hare and the Tortoise

The old fable includes much wisdom.





For me on this day, I was reminded that as a leader we must …

– check our ego at the door
– understand the competition and what they are doing
– with wisdom, set a pace that is right for us
– check in often and reset as necessary, while not losing our True North
– hardwire (perfect) the basics first
– celebrate each win along the way
– help others (by lifting all boats we all win)
– never stop until goal is achieved
– then set next goal

And now I apparently also know why people run…to learn leadership and life lessons.

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