An IRONMAN is the world’s largest triathlon and it consists on a
3.86km Ocean Swim + 180km cycle + 42.2km marathon.
This blog shares 3 key learning points Jan Bartscht learnt from his experience in completing an Ironman in Conzumel on Dec 1st, 2013. He took 13 hours 48 min to complete it. No big deal.
1. BUILD THE RIGHT TRAINING PROGRAM
High quality training is superior to high quantity training. This may sound a bit obvious, but do you really know what kind of training you need to be ready for an ironman? For example, is it better to go for very long training sessions at low intensity or do short, high intensity training sessions? Regardless of what you’re trying to achieve, you need to be clear in your mind of what kind of training regime you need to do in order to achieve your goals. If you don’t know then find out! Don’t be one of those people whose idea of preparation is a quick Google for ‘Ironman Training’ or ‘Leadership training’. Take the time to research and upgrade your understanding so you can make informed decisions about what training you need to be at your best. This transforms you from someone who is making it up as they go along into a clear and confident individual who knows what they need to do to succeed.
2. PLAN EFFECTIVELY TO REDUCE RISK AND MAXIMISE YOUR CHANCES OF SUCCESS
Plan ahead and plan in detail for what you will do the week before the race and on the race day itself. Do not deceive yourself into thinking you can ‘keep it simple’, complex activities have a lot of details that need to go right, and if one thing goes wrong it can ruin everything. For example, for the Ironman cycling leg, if you choose to only pack one spare inner tube and get a 2nd puncture on a part of the course where there is no spare tire support (usually most of the course!) then it’s probably game-over for your Ironman race. Is it really worth throwing away your entire race, and a year’s worth of training, financial investment, pride etc. for a $5 spare part? Of course not, but if you fail to plan to pack a 2nd inner tube then this is what can happen (this actually happened to my good friend in his race, luckily he had the sense to pack a 2nd tube!). In the same way, leaders need to actively plan to achieve success in order to minimize the chances of failure and maximize success. As the saying goes, “if you’re failing to plan then you’re planning to fail”.
3. EXCELLENT EXECUTION DRIVES SUCCESS
Effective execution refers to the ability to use the existing potential to achieve the desired result when the time comes. Just because you have trained well and planned well does not mean you will perform well on the day. Whether you are leading or competing, a simple plan executed excellently will always outperform a clever plan executed poorly. For example, 1 month before my Ironman I ran a hill half-marathon in Cambodia (Bokor Hill Race) in 2 hrs 36 mins. My friend ran a half-marathon in 1 hr 36 mins and had always been ahead of me in our combined training sessions. He was clearly far fitter than me and yet on race day I completed the Ironman over 1 hour ahead of him. Why? I believe that I was able to execute better than he was, even though I had less ‘potential’ as I was less fit than him, I was better able to convert my potential into performance and hence was able to achieve a faster time.
What should you do? I firmly believe that visualization is the key. This is the technique of imagining yourself performing the desired activity before you perform it. I had spent over 50 hours during the year visualizing myself performing the race so when it came to race day I had ‘been’ there many times before and I knew exactly what I would do and how I would feel. It felt like I had done the race many times before and that this was just another day. The greater clarity, focus and confidence I had enabled me to achieve a better result. To conclude, visualization cannot replace training. However, you can over-train and under-visualise. Instead of doing one more hour of training, or planning, take the time to visualize your successful completion of your challenge and this will transform your ability to execute effectively.
If you enjoyed this blog...
Leadership vs. Management
First off, it is crucial to understand what leadership is and what management is. There are important differences between leaders and managers.
All of us are responsible for organizations. An organization is any social system i.e. families, cities, businesses, communities, cultures. Any kind of organization requires people to come together and organizing themselves to achieve particular goals. For example, people organize themselves into a business in order to achieve a profit.
The skill of leadership and management is related to the organization, specifically we need leadership and management skills to ensure it can survive and thrive over time. If we have an organization without leadership and management, it will fall apart very quickly. It won’t be able to respond to change and it won’t be able to achieve its goals.
That is why we need management and leadership skills.
Management is about achieving the goals today.
Imagine a sand castle on a beach. Imagine it was built by a community of people to enable them to flourish. They are using management skills by building this castle in the best way possible for survival. As management is about optimizing processes, the people bring the stones and sand in order to build a great castle. Now, beaches are tidal, and because the sea is so much stronger the sand castle will always get washed away by the sea. In practice, this is why we need leadership skills.
Leadership is the skill of influencing people to work together to achieve excellent outcomes and cope with challenging change.
What the sea represents is that challenging change for the community of our sand castle. They need to up themselves and move way up the beach to a new land, a new frontier in order to continue to survive and thrive. We can recognize that if we just use on management skills, these people are going to be great at building a sand castles but when the change (sea) arrives, they will be washed away. This is what often happens to organizations today. They are so focused on management and achieving success today that they don’t adapt to the changes on the horizon and therefore when it arrives, they are not ready for it and they perish.
Think of what happened to these organizations...
And here are other 9 surprising iconic companies that could be on the verge of dying.
3. THE LEADAPRENEUR SKILL
The true skill of enabling viable organizations is to balance leadership and management skills. You need both and that is what leadapreneurs do. You need to achieve goals today but also prepare for tomorrow’s change.
3 principles (in under 3 minutes) you can use to be a better leadapreneur.
More videos: www.youtube.com/adepicos
They were both different. Not in a cliché sense but in the sense that they were willing to be bold in the way that they thought of reality and what is possible.
They were willing to push themselves and believe in themselves to achieve what they wanted to do. Nietzsche actually formulated this into what he called “the will to power” and what he meant is that life is about striving to achieve what it is that you believe should be achieved. He marshalled the will to power as this basic essence of our life, and he felt that we had lost this essence in society. He felt society had become dull, people had become too conditioned by the education system and by the societies they lived in, and what we needed to do was to unleash this will to power inside of them and to go out there achieve what they wanted to achieve. This is exactly what Steve Jobs did. Through his bibliography, we know that he had that will to power. He went out there to fight for what he thought was right. And in the process he ended up transforming the way we live all around the world. This takes us to the third point because the consequences of the will to power leaves you with 2 choices:
Make sure you understand what’s the right path for you.
Just say "YES".
Here are 3 principles around saying "yes" to be more motivated and be more successful.
We don’t give ourselves the time to do new things. Saying you’re too busy is not a valid excuse. What you really mean when you say you are “too busy” what you really mean is: “that’s not important enough for me”. You can change your diary, you can move things around to do new things if they are important enough for you. Say "yes" to your time limit and change the way you organize your calendar to allow yourself to do more things. If we care, we make time.
2. Say YES to fear.
We don’t say "yes" to things because we’re afraid. We don’t know what the outcome will be. We don’t know if we can do it. Don’t let the fear control you. Learn to master your fear and do that by saying "yes" to going bungee-jumping, say "yes" for doing that speech, say "yes" to taking on that crazy project. You will be surprised by how far you go once you’ve set yourself that challenge. The first step is to try.
3. Say YES to the unknown.
Too often we’re stuck on doing the same old stuff every day, every week, every year – it’s the same, old routine. It’s no surprise that we’re unlikely to discover things that motivates us to be more successful. Actively seek out new things that you otherwise wouldn’t do, and see where they may take you. Say "yes" to things you would normally say "no" to. It’s the things that come after it. For example, you may say "yes" to a project that you normally wouldn’t do which may give you a promotion in one year’s time.
Just say "Yes"!