Wet, Cold, Windy Business Marathons

"The marathon can humble you. " — Bill Rodgers, winner of four Boston Marathons

On Monday morning, about 30,000 people lined up in Boston, Massachusetts to run the legendary Boston Marathon. These people started lining up for the 10:00 AM start time at least four hours earlier.

The temperature at start time was just a little bit above freezing. Add into that a strong wind that blew rain into the runners face for the majority of the 26.2 miles.

Does that sound like some of the "business weather" you have periodically faced?

There are four key lessons to be learned from those that ran in Boston on Monday.

  • Stay committed. You have been training for this. You have been putting in all the miles. It is likely you have run practices, and even races, in worse conditions than this. The weather doesn't care about you, so you don't need to care about it. So keep getting out there.
  • Look around and smile. The weather was the same for everyone. Many appeared cold and miserable, but also there were a lot of people who were delighted, smiling and laughing. Realize you have a choice to make about how you deal with the conditions you must deal with.
  • Savor the win. For most people, finding the finish line of the marathon was a win to be savored. Leadership in business does not have finish lines defined for you. You must define your own. Define your wins and savor them.
  • Own your practice. Before the starting line and beyond the finish line is your practice. You cannot control the weather, or business conditions, you will face in the races. However you can control how you do your work, your attitude towards you work. You also control the choice of getting out there every day.

Also, remember hiding behind the clouds is a sunny day.

Yours in the calm pursuit of excellence,
ALAN WILLETT