A MARATHON THAT MADE ME A BETTER LEADER

Submitted by admin on Mon, 08/21/2017 - 12:45

Sunil Munshi, CEO - India, Denave talks about participating in the ‘Run for Health’ weekend marathon that left him with a lot of profound thoughts and helped him become a better and stronger leader

 

By Sunil Munshi

CEO - India, Denave

 

At all stages of life, we feel that we know it all, and then we prove ourselves wrong the very next moment once we widen our horizon. Recently, participating in a community activity left me with some profound thoughts.

I participated in the ‘Run for Health’ weekend marathon, organized by a local sports chain to promote physical fitness. Participants included people across age groups. The format was usual – the one who completes the 14 km run in the least time would be declared as the winner. While I was running at my pace, the fact that I was running alone and not as a part of any group gave me the liberty to be an observer throughout. Some were just walking briskly, some running as if it was a sprint race, some simply enjoying each other’s company and some panting for breath while still running hard as if they were running for gold. I also noticed some people opting out of the marathon midway, declaring that they had lagged behind so much that there was no point running and tiring themselves out any more. I saw a group of young cheerful fellows who were evidently not thinking about winning but thoroughly enjoying the race. That was the group that caught my attention. In that group of 8-10 people, each was encouraging the others to run a bit faster, to target the nearest milestone et al. With each kilometre milestone, I could see them celebrating the small wins and enjoying the journey, despite the heat and sweat.

 

Some lessons I learnt:

Journey is as important as the destination: I often talk about success milestones, not just in the context of achieving revenue targets, but in the context of the overall success of my customers as well as my team. This activity made me see milestones in a very different light. In the urge to achieve the final goal, sometimes we overlook the steps that lead us towards those goals. Seeing those young runners made me realize how we miss enjoying the process in the quest to achieve that aspirational goal.

Self-belief is an important asset: Ichinen – the Japanese term for determination - is one of the most revered words of that dialect. As per one of their proverbs, the moment you strengthen your ichinen, things automatically start moving in the direction of your desire. In high pressure scenarios which are a common instance in sales domain, we often tend to lose faith in ourselves and quit, just like the people who dropped out of the marathon because they thought they had no chance of winning. The key to unlock our hidden potential is nothing but our strong resolve.

Challenges are springboards: In a marathon, we often undergo several emotions – most of them telling us to stop and rest, to go back to our comfort zone and we start weighing the outcome with the challenges – be it the exertion, that leg cramp or even the realization that we may not win. Those situations hold the power to launch us with the intensity we could have never fathomed. In our professional lives too, taking the challenges as growth opportunities instead of barriers is tough but important.

 

A team is all it takes: It was heartening to see how that young group was celebrating one another’s small victories and motivating one another the moment anybody used to drop down. Each person of that group truly created value in those few kilometres. Haven’t we all experienced the joy of seeing somebody rise up, by trusting our confidence in their potential? At some point, we all need that extra push and that word of faith which reinstates our self-belief.

Finally, when I completed the 14 km marathon, I understood how a seemingly challenging task can be converted into a valuable and exciting experience.

Feedback: sunilm@denave.com

Category: 
Volume No: 
14
Issue No: 
11