RUNNING AND LEADERSHIP SERIES
WHY PLANNING MATTERS
It was an early morning three years back. Was on the way to Ahmedabad airport for an onward journey to New Delhi. On the way I see a group of runners on the road sweating, seeming quite tired, yet a smile of their face. The very sight really charged me up that on return shall be taking up running. Came back, joined the group and went out for the first run
I was excited, like love at first sight, joined the group early morning for the run. I was told by the captain, that take it easy for the first run day. Out of sheer excitement, I ran. I do not know the way I ran. In two hundred meters, the signs of stress began to creep in. My legs were becoming difficult to carry me. I was breathing hard as if I have just completed a marathon. The cramps seemed to be taking over my legs and my stomach areas. I was beginning to sweat. I could not move further. I began to walk. I continued walking. An I could see my other runners merrily passing by me running at a very comfortable speed, talking to each other and enjoying the run. The stark contrast was making me realize something is amiss. A kilometre seemed beyond reach.
First briefing by my captain, Vivek. Vivek tell me “Take it easy and not compare yourself with others. Run slowly run regularly. You will begin to run well within a few weeks. You need to be patient and you need to plan for the long running journey. There are many things you may need to work on. Building of your stamina, building your core, regularity in running and so on”.
The reality dawns… Planning is critical
You come out of the interaction and suddenly you see the road. The road to a great running is not going to be easy. It needs planning. It needs a plan to put various element for a great running in place. It needs a plan to bring awareness of various other aspects of running like breathing, heart rate, cadence, types of running in place. It needs a diet plan. It need a schedule. You need your body to take the stress of running. And you need to plan you day in a manner that the running aspect is accommodated in the daily schedule.
In Leadership Roles
Somewhere down the line leading teams is not everyone’s cup of tea. Like runners, everyone of us professionals love to be promoted to the managing others role or to manage managers or manage function role. The leadership roles that one aspires. And when you are there, promoted and taking up the role,
- Does the role come handy?
- Is it a smooth transition into the new role?
- Are all the elements of the new role falling in place?
- Are you now aware of the various others aspects critical to the functioning in the new role.
My experience over the years has been many recently promoted managers floundered. They started with the enthusiasm of making a significant impact. And the something happens. Their limitations becomes visible. The question arises… Have you planned for the leadership journey or are you jumping in the pond to swim without knowing how to swim.
Planning becomes critical
The journey becomes critical. What do you want out of the journey? The answer will define the way you want to progress. The answer will shape the activities you do. The answer will take you to the outcome you seek.
As Earl Nightingle said “All you need is the plan, the road map and the courage to press on to your destination”