On Sunday, January 24 at 9:18 a.m., I was dragging myself across the race finish line. Technically, I was running. However, I believe most people could have walked faster than I was running at that point.
At the end of a 13.1 mile half-marathon my energy tank was empty. The first 8 miles of the race was probably the best run of my life! I was in the groove. Adrenaline provided a nice runners high. However, my run began to change between miles 8 and 10. The race guide prepared us for a ‘slight uphill climb’ but it felt significantly slight and my runners high quickly disappeared. By mile 10 my body began telling me to stop. By mile 11 it was yelling at me to stop. At mile 12 it was screaming! Somehow, the last 1.1 miles felt longer than the first 8 and it required concentrated mental effort to keep my body parts moving.
But I finished! In fact, I even set a personal best time.
I am not telling you this story for self-glorification (if you look up my race results, you will see that they were nothing to brag about!). Rather, life experiences, like running a half-marathon, often provide great insights into leadership and success. In today’s blog I want to share four lessons that I learned as I traversed 13.1 miles.
My half-marathon experience helps me understand leadership a little bit better. You have your own metaphor that helps you understand leadership in deeper ways. So what’s your metaphor?
Jeff Suderman is an amateur jogger, futurist, professor, consultant and pracademic who works in the field of organizational development. He works with clients to improve leadership, teamwork, organizational alignment, strategy and organizational FutureReadiness. He resides in Palm Desert, California. Twitter: @jlsuderman. Email: email@example.com