Leadership Is Like Running

Just over a week ago, our gifted colleague and Office Manager at Pro Talent Recruitment and I attempted a 10km Night run in Durban North. Nicky’s a legend in her own right and as an observer of her tenacity and work ethic, I can’t help but see many similarities in leadership and the sport; here are a few observations I picked up:

1. Be consistent.

Set your routine daily and weekly and stick to it – committing to the small daily disciplines and practices at work and perhaps saying yes to run at least 3/4 times a week especially when you don’t feel like it will positively impact your mindset and character.

2. Stay focused.

Being disciplined is one thing but being laser-focused and keeping your sights on the finish line is massively important! Set your target, clearly for yourself and for your team – minimise the distractions and push forward to achieving your goal.

3. Face obstacles head-on.

It’s almost inevitable that life or work will throw you a curveball – the same could happen as you approach halfway in a 10km race! Do you stop? Heck no! Deal with it, keep the end goal in mind, have the difficult conversation with yourself or where needed, show your resilience. Keep pressing forward!

4. You are never alone.

It’s a myth (in my opinion) that leadership is a lonely road.. even though it might seem like it, I’ve always appreciated the volunteers, traffic marshalls and even passers-by that give you a thumbs up, point you to the right path, hand you a sachet of glucose when you need it! You have a crowd of supporters, they’re there even in business, just be mindful to look up now and again to take in their kindness.

5. Lead by example.

Integrity matters. Don’t be the one to cut corners or take short cuts to get there quicker, wouldn’t you rather be the leader that inspires others to do the right thing especially when nobody’s watching?!

6. Stay encouraged.

A few people may pass you along the way, so what? Run your own race at your own pace, compete with yourself. Encourage yourself with the fact that you’re doing this, taking on this challenge, not for others but for yourself.

7. See yourself to the finish line!

Visualise the goal from the start, keep it front of mind throughout the process, appreciate the support you get along the way, take note of the challenges and learn quickly from them, be agile, it’s not ego you’re doing this for – its to show others that if you can do it, so can anyone else.

8. Set another target and go for gold.

You are above average, don’t succumb to complacency – move away from the mediocre mindset of “been there, done that, time to hang up my trainers”. Nope, now is not the time for that… How about signing up for that 21km Half Marathon next?? Go on Nix, I dare you!