Lessons from a Long Distance Run

The weather forecast was for a nice sunny spring day for the running event. When we arrived at the venue, it was already cloudy and started raining thereafter. Suddenly it turned quite cold and uncertainty increased about the weather conditions during the run. Still the atmosphere was positive and festive. Here are few insights from the experience.

  • Working together  The participants were from different age groups, regions and apparently had diverse competencies. Yet there was an air of mutual respect and enthusiasm. Could we do the same in our organisations and businesses?
  • Learning humbly  It was bit cold to start with. After some time the sun was shining again. Some of the runners were fast and well trained, others were not. Business work in similar settings with uncertainty and players with diverse abilities. Could we learn from their experiences and behave modestly?
  • Enjoying journey  The path crossed few gardens, forests, seashores and roadsides. Some were looking at their watches along the run while others were talking and giving support to others. Most of the runners get a high after reaching the goal. But can we enjoy the journey as well and encourage others similarly in life and business?
  • Giving support  It was amazing to see people standing before their homes and cheering for runners. Children were volunteering along with adults and serving water. Many came to support their friends and family members. It was like an energy booster. Does the businesses appreciate this aspect and could we support our fans and entrepreneurs?
  • Running with angels  Unfortunately one young man collapsed during the run. When I crossed the spot, emergency staff was giving the treatment. I had a chance to meet one of his relative a week after the run. He told that fortunately two doctors were just behind the runner. They provided emergency care and called ambulance. In his words “my relative survived because there were angels participating in the run”. It was indeed profound to hear. Can we treat our business colleagues or competitors similarly?
  • Reaching the goal  Many of the runners slowed down and walked occasionally, others managed to run the whole distance. Eventually majority of them reached the destination. It is comparable in life and business as well. Could we appreciate the performance of others and share the joy of doing stuff together?

The insights might seem counter-intuitive. But we have to believe and create a win-win situation for all participants to build a sustainable and just work culture.