Monday, August 8, 2011

Leadership is Your Business!

Are you a leader?

Of course you are! As long as you attempt to influence a colleague, customer, contractor or client, you are leading. As reiterated many times, our conversations are where the opportunities for influence lie.

What is your business as a leader?

Leaders test themselves at times. Sometimes, they have to make the tough decisions. Other times, they have to brave the elements. When you pull out of a race due to injury or poor health, it is a smart thing to do. There is no failure if you made the attempt. There’s always another time to achieve your goals. 38-year-old Chris ‘Macca’ McCormack dropped out (suspected hamstring injury) after the ride in yesterday’s ITU race in London, and comments on the social media platform have been hurled at him, including his lack of youth. This twice-Ironman World Champion is not denying himself a chance to represent his country in the Olympic Games after being unfairly chopped off 12 years ago. Why deter him? Was what Ironman World Champion, Faris Al-Sultan said of Macca (visibly absent) during the press conference of the 2011 edition of the Aviva Singapore Ironman 70.3 ‘professional’? (Video courtesy of BPM Sports, a triathlon coaching company based in Singapore).

When we see participants of various conditions and physical sizes run a marathon, have you ever wondered to yourself: ‘Are you serious?’ If you do, you were probably a pedestrian and not a runner. Isn’t a dream a target to be aimed at? Is a goal something important to be achieved? As leaders, our purpose and business is to effectively guide people towards this dream, aspiration or ambition? We do this through our intelligence, empathy, sensitivity, sensibility, abilities and talents. To not use them, is to lose and waste them.

Leadership Lessons: Live to lead another day. Leading is led. Influence others in the way you walk, talk and express your self. Lead with you head, heart and hands. Mind your business as a leader. 
Congratulations, Tee Boon Tiong on garnering the white tee (no pun intended) at Norseman 2011. He completed the challenging task (with strained ribs and a fractured finger) in about 20 hours. Don decided to call it in after a long swim and longer ride. These two boys were brave for they braced the cold and choppy swim, and chilly ride. I hope that this teaches us not to make deprecating remarks about long-distance triathlon, like ‘which is an easier Ironman?’ The truth is: there is none. Which is the extreme one?

At the MR25 Time Trial yesterday evening, I moved from the last to 6th out of about 22 runners. I was in a phlegm-like difficulty at the last two kilometres of the trail run, sucking in air and embracing the suck. I missed my new ranking narrowly (by one second) and came home in 22:00, an improvement over my first cross-country trial in February. Fast-paced training is intense and painful and it stresses the major muscles of our body. The overall winner, from Holland, won by almost a kilometre's breath in about 19 minutes. I believe that is he is an elite age-grouper who has done Kona. A couple of Masters category runners filled out the upper percentile of faster runners. Such was the strength of field at this small but hungry gathering. My joyful personal thought about all the runners there: respect. I also met MR25 committee member, Mika Kume who placed 2nd at a recent 21K run, and was top-five at the Sundown 100K Ultramarathon. She and her MR25 committee organised the run, and marshaled us on. Thank you, MR25!

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