Friday, October 14, 2011

20 mile march

when it comes to greatness there are 3 inherent traits that set GREAT leaders apart from the others...
& These are according to Jim Collins' STELLAR talk at Catalyst '11 last week. (and probably from his newest book Greatness is a Choice)

i'll just give you those big 3 traits straight up & then explain what he was talking about as we go:

The story and framework he chose to build this talk around was a study of the 2 teams who were in a race to make it to the South Pole back in the early 1900s. the leader whose team made it exemplified each of these 3 traits. the leader whose team all DIED did not.

each leader and each team faced the SAME environment and the SAME circumstances... one made it and one DIED. these 3 traits made the difference... and the make the difference in a long line of Great vs. Good leaders and Great vs. Good organizations.

Here is a little more context and discussion around these 3:
Jim told a (made up) story as a GREAT example of this trait. Let's say there are 2 guys who are going to walk from the California coast all the way across the country to the East coast of Maine. that's a long walk. they both set out on the same day.

The 1st guy sets a pace for himself of 20 miles per day. he is committed to his 20 mile march. he is fanatically disciplined about it. the 1st day he walks 20 miles. the 2nd day he walks 20 miles. the 3rd day he completes 20 miles and is tempted to keep going... he feels good, the sun is still up, he can probably walk 40. but nope. he sticks to the 20 mile march. he hits Colorado and there is snow all over the ground and he wakes up early and wants to sleep in inside his tent... but he does his 20 mile march. no matter what. fanatic discipline.
he makes it to Maine.

The other guy just gets after it. he walks 40 miles the 1st day. then blazes ahead for 57 miles on the 2nd day! he's dead tired on the 3rd day so he just sleeps in and lays around all day knowing that he can make up the ground later. he hits the snow in Colorado exhausted and takes a 3 week break to let the weather clear up. he hits the trail again and does 60 miles, but can barely walk the next day. he never makes it to Maine.

the team who made it to the South Pole had a 20 mile march and their leader made them stick to it no matter what.

THAT is fanatic discipline.

and that is what i need. 

for those of you familiar with Good to Great, this is a repackaging of the FLYWHEEL principle.
my takeaway = i desperately need to KNOW what my 20 mile march is. i'm going to spend the time and the hard effort to land on the right 20 mile march for every area of my life and then i'm going to freaking hit it every single time... no matter what!

we'll talk about the other 2 traits in the coming days, but for now - anybody know their 20 mile march?

1 comment:

Brandon said...

Getting there... been defining and acting on mine for this past week!