Your knee bone connected to your…

I took myself by surprise in 2013. Having never run more than a couple of miles in the previous 52 years, I entered and completed my first half-marathon.

So what did I learn and discover from this great feat – and what does that tell me about the challenges of working life?

1. I could do it! And it didn’t matter that I had to walk the last 6 miles or that I was nearly last;

2. My feet, achilles tendons, knees, thighs, ‘glutes’, lower back and upwards are all indubitably connected in one remarkable (but slightly misaligned) system;

3. I needed help – physiotherapy, pilates and a podiatrist to help deal with the troublesome aforementioned limbs, an ever-supportive wife, and dozens of generous friends and relatives who encouraged and generously sponsored me. *

I have also been busy working this year! In my work with leaders and their teams, I like to be an ‘agent of change’ or a catalyst for better performance so, in that spirit, I find myself asking ‘what difference do these points above make in the broader context of our lives and work?’


outperform your expectations

1. So many of us, so often, treat tasks and challenges as ‘binary’ or ‘black and white’ – so don’t attempt them through fear of failure. In truth, there is usually an infinite number of outcomes, so why not put the quest for perfection aside and just get on with it. You might just surprise yourself.

2. Nothing in life happens in isolation – we are all individuals and we are all connected, and everything we do has an effect on others. Remember this as you hurtle forward through life and work’s challenges – who else will notice that effect? And what would you like them to notice?

3. Good teamwork means that you can outperform your individual expectations (one of the central tenets from the study of high performing teams).

I’m not sure I’ll rush to run another long race – I’m listening to the message from my joints – but I do wonder what alternative challenge might happen over the next year. I’ll wager that it will include imperfection, and that I won’t be doing it on my own!

Which just leaves me to thank you for being one of my valued ‘connections’ and to wish you a very happy Christmas holiday season and a positively surprising year ahead.