Running: An Exercise in Leadership

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to stay focused on your primary goal. Reading time: 3:09

     He was content –if not happy– with himself. Content to stay in the background, hidden from any and all leaders or leadership opportunities.

     Life1He settled for less than his personal best.  And he did even less.

     Lifting the pop-top of a beer can was always enough exercise for him. And dieting? Well for all he knew Count Calories was some monarch in a far off country.

    By settling for less, he didn’t flirt with the frustrations of failure or threaten his couch potato comfort.

     In fact, being a little chunky gave him an excuse when he played his usual lousy game of tennis or golf or when he failed to win the bid or get the promotion.

    He was like T.S. Eliot’s Hollow Men:

  “Shape without form,
shade without color.
Paralyzed force.
Gesture without motion.”

   ????????????????????????? He was like the Beatles’s Nowhere Man:

  “A real nowhere man,
living in his nowhere land,
making all his nowhere plans for nobody.
Doesn’t have a point of view.
Knows not where he’s going to.
Isn’t he a bit like you and me?”

    But then he became a leader. With a vision.

    He decided to add form—a muscular form– to his shape and color—a vibrant, lively brilliance- to his shade. He accepted personal responsibility. He renounced the status quo. He established a goal. He created a compelling plan that shaped the future. And he colored his present behavior to stay on track. One step at a time.

   The newly-minted leader took his daily dose of exercise as if it were medicine that tasted so bad it had to be good. Continue reading “Running: An Exercise in Leadership”

Running For Your Life At 80

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to help you keep your commitments. Reading time: 4:11

         I was shocked when I walked into his beautiful condominium in Pompano Beach, Florida.

        studentsandmasks-sm The view of the Atlantic Ocean through his living room window seemed shrouded in a mystery. In fact his entire living room seemed shrouded in a conundrum of sorts.

        In the corner of the his beautifully appointed living room were two huge tanks of oxygen. Six foot tall tanks.

       And there’s my conundrum: how do you run a marathon if you need oxygen tanks just to breathe?

At 80, Tom had already traveled plenty of miles down life’s road much like this. Now he was going to run marathon!

     Back then I was a reporter for The Miami Herald, researching a story on an 80-year-old planning to run a marathon.

     That turned out to be Tom, the wiry guy who at 80 was more than three times older than I was at the time. Tom said he had a lung disease that necessitated those oxygen tanks in his home.

    When Tom told me he was training to  run a 26-mile,385-yard  marathon, I laughed. And then–about a year later– I cried.

        I cried tears of joy and amazement as I ran with Tom as he finished his marathon. Tom taught me a critical leadership skill: the power of commitment quite literally step by step, day in and day out.

       Continue reading “Running For Your Life At 80”