Ever since I heard about runs like the Warrior Dash or Tough Mudder or The Spartan Race, I’ve longed to run in one. This year I was finally able to check this type of running event off of my list.
Throughout the run, I saw great examples of leadership. Things that peaked my interest and made me think.
That’s why I want to share what the Warrior Dash taught me about leadership in today’s post.
For those of you that don’t know, the Warrior Dash is a 5K obstacle course that includes upwards of 12 obstacles. These obstacles are there to test your strength and endurance. They will test your resolve. And they’re make you wonder if you’re able to make it through.
And that’s where I want to start with the leadership lessons from the Warrior Dash.
1. You’ve got more in you than you think: At the Warrior Dash, you see people of all shapes and sizes. There’s the physically fit, chiseled men who look like they just walked out of the gym. There’s people who are out of shape and don’t look like they could run 10 feet. And then there’s guys like me. Somewhere in-between, not out of shape but not fit either.
The Warrior Dash makes it so that most people, regardless of physical ability, can complete the run. This empowers people and makes them realize that they have an inner strength that they didn’t know they had before.
You have the same inner strength. This strength may be hidden within, but you have it. You are able to push through the pain, the fatigue, the obstacles and you can make it.
2. People working together can accomplish much: The Warrior Dash isn’t a one-man show. It takes many people to run a great event like this.
Much like the Warrior Dash, leaders can’t depend solely on one person to carry out the vision. Leaders have to form a great team that will pull together and make things happen.
3. Leading is dangerous: There were many obstacles in the Warrior Dash. They had Goliath which had you climb cargo nets high into the sky and then crawl across a cargo net to get to the other side. There was a wall of fire you had to run through. Barbed wire was raised above the ground and you had to crawl underneath.
Not everyone succeeded in clearing these obstacles without injury. I saw people snagged on barbed wire or scrapped knees after crawling through the trenches. This was dangerous!
And leadership is dangerous too!
There are many obstacles we’ll face. From our own doubts and insecurities to the traitor who stabs you in the back. We will have things that make our leadership dangerous.
But you can get through it. You can crawl. You can run. You can walk. But you can make it. Don’t let the dangers stop you from leading!
4. Shocking things will happen: While the Warrior Dash doesn’t include electro-shock therapy like the Tough Mudder, it included it’s fair share of shocks.
The Goliath obstacle ended with a giant water slide. This shocked me as it looked so unassuming. And it was until you hit the water below.
The water you slid into was frigid! It was almost enough to daze and confuse you.
You will find pieces of leadership that will shock you like the drop into cold water that Goliath delivers. Don’t let this stop you.
The shock only lasts for a minute or two. Learn to shake it off and get going again.
5. Do good and have fun: Last, and certainly not least, is to do good and have fun. The Warrior Dash was probably my favorite run. It was well executed and setup for maximum enjoyment. Yet they took it a step further by doing good when they host Warrior Dash events.
Part of the entry fee went to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. So there was lots of good done in addition to the fun people had.
Find out how you can have fun and do good at the same time. You’d be surprised at the ways you can do this.