Leadership Lessons From A Marathon Run

What a marathon taught me about leadership

Never in my life did I want to run a marathon. I thought it wasn’t for me. And the distance, 26.2 miles, seemed too far for my legs to carry me. Yet, this past Sunday, I ran my first (and I’m saying my only) marathon.

What running a marathon can teach you about leadership

Image by Matt Biller

I ran the marathon for a reason. In areas without access to clean water 1 out of every 2 children die before the age of 5 because of water-related issues. Because of this, I chose to run with Team World Vision and bring clean water to these children. Currently, the West Michigan Team World Vision team raised over $400,000 in donations for clean water. That’s a lot of people’s lives changed! You can still make a difference by going HERE and donating.

So, that’s why I ran a marathon this year. Through this marathon experience, I was reminded of key leadership truths. We’re going to take a look at those leadership truths in the rest of this article.

A Letter To The Discouraged Leader

Dear Discouraged Leader,

I know you feel like you don’t know what you’re doing. Like you don’t have a clue where to start, and you’re not sure if you’re doing it right.

You saw how your predecessor did it and you feel like you could never reach that level. You keep trying to keep your head above water, but every time you do someone hands you another 5 pound weight.

Image by Kevin Walsh

Image by Kevin Walsh

Despite all of that, I have something to tell you: you’re doing better than you think.

I talk to leaders of all ages, and one of the things I’ve noticed is that the ones who feel most discouraged have 2 things in common:

1. They’re new to their leadership role.

2. They’re comparing themselves to another leader.