In 2011, I had big goals: I was going to complete an Ironman triathlon in November. I was going to best my annual billable targets by at least 20%. I was going to lead my high-performing team to new success. Then, on Aug. 6, a terrible bike wreck left me with a broken pelvis, a crushed Ironman dream, and a question mark regarding when (or if) I could return to work. I was devastated. The blow was as soul-crushing as bone-crushing.
What I’ve realized since that fateful time is how much my endurance athlete mentality helped me recover. Further, by embracing leadership as an endurance sport, I could more effectively deal with the opportunities, surprises, and setbacks that inevitably crop up as a leader. I’ve used this mentality with coaching clients as they’ve faced an array of leadership challenges: a high-performing employee suddenly quits; a boss unexpectedly foists more aggressive revenue targets on the team; functional responsibilities are added onto an already crippling workload; an opportunity arises to take a big international job while raising a young family. As a result, these leaders didn’t just survive, but excelled in the face of exciting events or rogue reversals of fortune. I, too, used these strategies to thrive personally (see photo below) and professionally. More to that story at the end of the series.
Over the next few months, I’ll share my Ten Tips (+1) to Endurance Leadership that will propel you to a podium finish. I look forward to your input.
Me finishing Ironman Chattanooga, Sept. 2015.