It seems like everyone I know is running a race. The popularity of running marathons or half marathons is growing. Over 2 Million runners finished half marathon races in 2014. There are some striking similarities between those who run well and those who lead well.
It’s Monday morning. It’s race day. The course is set. You plan to finish the week strong. But, will you finish well? Maybe it’s not really fair to compare your workweek to a marathon. There are some important similarities and some important differences. But, you can borrow a few training lessons that will make your day better. Great runners understand the importance of preparing for the race before the race begins. You should too.
Get ready for your week before you run at your day.
It’s very easy to hit the ground running on Monday morning. Avoid the trap of running hard without running smart. Will you measure the success of your workweek by the distance you travel or by how far you have advanced toward your personal and organizational vision? Busyness is intoxicating. In contrast, progress is fulfilling at a much deeper level. Run with focus and intentionality. Before you run, take a few moments to establish how you will make the best investment in people and actions that will contribute the most to your strategic objectives. Run with purpose. Focus on a few key variables: time, direction and resources. Finally, ask yourself one critical question. How will I measure my success at the end of the race?
Proper nutrition is not a luxury.
The body of research regarding proper nutrition for runners is vast. The same could be said for “nutritional” research for leaders. How do you develop a healthy mind? How do you nourish your heart? How do you feed your soul? How do you care for your body? If you can’t answer those questions, you need to research before you run. Understanding yourself and others will help you develop your personal leadership plan. Leadership is not simply an exercise of intellect. Great leaders engage hearts and minds. Your health will affect the health of your relationships and sustain you in the long run ahead.
Find your pace.
Your pace is unique. It is established through a process of training. It is executed with discipline. Leaders understand that discipline is a non-negotiable. Disciplined leadership in the 21st century combines self-awareness, mindfulness and unprecedented openness toward feedback and accountability. Discipline is not an accident. As you refine your leadership competencies, you will develop greater clarity regarding your proper pace. You will begin to recognize “who” you are when you are at your best and find your stride. Run your race this week with a blend of passion, patience and endurance.