Recently, I decided to expand my athletic skills and add an exercise program that included running in my exercise routine. Though I’ve attempted to run before, my performance was quite pathetic. However, this time I decided to take my own advice and locate an expert runner who could help me learn to run. This is precisely the way I went about it.
Our local roadrunner’s group was about to launch an exercise for novice runners. I signed up right away for the course. In the second class, we were required to run a mile at the top of our speed. While I am not the best at it, what I lack in speed and endurance, I make up for it in competition, so I completed the mile of 9.28 (9 hours and 128 seconds). While it may seem small for someone who is a seasoned runner, I can tell you that it was an incredible achievement for me. In this speed test, I was able to observe the exceptional leadership skills of the coach I work with come to light. Vera, One of the trainers, was incredibly happy at my accomplishments. She told me about the great experience that was, especially for someone who was a novice to the sport. I began to consider that maybe I’d be able to get back into running after all.
About two days later, I experienced an unintentional error, and I signed up for a five-kilometre (3.1 miles). Remember, I had only started running three and a half weeks prior and was now prepared to take on 1,100 runners. A few of them could complete 5K between commercials (not exactly, but they were quick).
As I entered the start line, I noticed Vera at the race’s registration counter, and I approached her. “Vera,” I said, “I don’t know how to race. What can I do?” I looked at her with a big smile, and she told me, “You ran a 9:28 as your fastest mile. You should aim for 10- minutes for the first mile. You’ll feel perfect.” I went home thinking she was totally out of her head. I was unable to maintain a 10-minute mile pace for three miles. The best I’ve been capable of was just under 11 mins per mile.
I participated in the course, running a portion of the route while walking the other part of the way. I was huffing and puffing all the time and thinking about what was I doing while I could be at home watching television. Shortly after the race finished, I found out the time. I ran at a speed of 9.55 minutes (9 minutes, 55 secs) for a mile. I was eager to share my accomplishments with Vera.
In the following class, I shared with Vera my story, and she was ecstatic. “That’s amazing,” she said, with a huge smile and complete conviction. “You’ll certainly be able to reduce your distance to an 8-minute mile.” A mile that takes 8 minutes? At this point, I’m not able to think of running five miles and not having to walk. But, Vera is an expert, and if she believes that I could, then maybe I could.
Vera was a believer in me. Although I wasn’t convinced that I would be able to live up to Vera’s expectations of an 8-minute mile, I was determined to adopt her belief in me and strive to build more endurance and keep my pace down. While I struggled to breathe and run while at the same time not wanting to give up repeatedly, I would repeat myself, “Vera believes that I will run an 8-minute mile.” That kept my focus up and my feet moving even though I was tempted to abandon the idea of becoming an athlete.
Vera’s Leadership strategy is to inspire your team as well as other people who are in your life to work for higher performance.
SET A HIGHER GOAL
Examine how the team members are doing and then set a new objective. Be sure that the goal is achievable for the individual. It must be something you are confident that he or she is able to achieve. If, after I had run 9:28 miles, Vera told me that I could do a 5-minute mile, I wouldn’t believe her. She set me a target that she believed to be achievable for me. And since it was not too much different from what I’ve accomplished, it appeared that if I put in the effort, I would be able to be successful.
DELETE YOUR EXPECTATION
Tell the person what you are expecting from them. Many times, people underestimate their abilities. However, there are some of them who wants to believe they can do better. Most people meet the expectations of others of them. Your team members should be able to take your trust in them, although they might not have confidence in their own capabilities.
BE A CHEERLEADER
There are times when things don’t go as smoothly when trying to accomplish some goal, and there’s an inclination to become frustrated and quit. It is when you must motivate your team members to continue striving. Be sure to express your belief in their abilities to achieve. When I told Vera of struggling to breathe when I ran, I was told not to fret, and I’d achieve my goal by keeping up with my exercise routine. A positive positive attitude is crucial for the team’s success.
Care about your team
The main thing that makes this whole plan work is that you have to be genuinely concerned about the members of your team. Let them feel loved and appreciated. When Vera gave me the exact time I ran my run speed, I was amazed to learn that she had remembered it without even looking up her notes. This made me feel like she was truly concerned about me, and I started to believe in her more. If your team isn’t confident in you, they’ll perceive all that you do and say as a form of manipulation. If they feel that you respect them, they’ll be more than happy to allow you to lead them to higher levels of success.