There are runners. And then there’s me.
Though I understand fully the possible benefits of running, and have many times over the years set out on a regimen, I’ve never carried it out for more than a couple weeks and, in fact, have never run more than a mile at once—and I’ve only run a mile one time. That’s my track record over the past couple decades.
In less than eight weeks (on May 3), I will participate in, and complete, a 5K. So, the question is: What’s required (and what am I doing) to fulfill on a commitment to an outcome that seems extraordinary given what my past says is likely?
- Commitment to Something “Bigger Than Myself”. In leadership—the fulfillment of results that seem extraordinary given current and past circumstances—it makes a real difference to commit oneself to something beyond a direct personal payoff and/or one’s own concerns for improvement, looking good or “making it”. This can be the fuel that empowers us in times of hardship. In this case, I’ve chosen a race that benefits a local organization that feeds, clothes and otherwise serves under-advantaged and homeless people. My running isn’t just about my own fitness; it’s about supporting and contributing to my community.
- Structures for Fulfillment. Just saying things (and then winging it) is rarely enough– for the extraordinary, you need to build your commitment into physical reality. I’ve taken on one of the “couch-to-5K” programs to set me up for success, I’ve built the schedule of the program into my calendar, and am using an app on my phone to support me in doing the program as it’s designed.
- Committed Support/ Social Accountability. An important piece of the puzzle is to have others around you support you, to form relationships and communications that hold the commitment present and are explicitly created to hold you accountable for keeping your commitment. Once I resolved to take on the race, I immediately began sharing it with those close to me and through social media. I now have people who will come to support me at the race and even a few who took on the race themselves. Not only do I have a network of support, but the sharing of my commitment has now created a new future for others as they take on what’s important to them.
- Commitment to Integrity. All of the support and structures and apps and causes in the world won’t mean a thing if you’re not someone who honors your word. If you don’t have a regard for what you commit to, and the nature and power of your word itself, then what’s the point of committing to anything at all? I operate from the stand (declaration) that I have a real say in how my life turns out, and therefore it is of the utmost importance to maintain the integrity of my word—and restore it where it is out.
By no means is this list meant to be exhaustive, but it does relate the basic elements from which I’m taking on producing an unpredictable result. As you may have guessed, they are also applicable to any commitment to new results—whether in fitness or certainly in your business.
What outcomes are you committed to in your business or work, which seem unlikely given your past and current circumstances? In what area would you like to produce, and perhaps lead others in producing, unprecedented results?
I’ll keep you posted about “being a runner”. If you’d like to have a conversation about utilizing these elements to fulfill on what you’re committed to, let me know.