On Sunday, September 15th the Technology Therapy Group participated in the BoldrDash – Mud Run. This was the second mud run for our team.
This was a much more challenging course than the first Mud Run I faced in July. The obstacles on this course weren’t just tougher for the body. They were tougher on the mind. As I approached one or two of the higher obstacles, I could feel my fear of falling kicking in. I did what I should not have done – started thinking too much and slowed myself down.
Many of the lessons learned on the Mud Run are relevant to us as business leaders. Here are a few insights that came from facing my fear on this more challenging mud run.
Lesson 1: Don’t Over Think It
When we are young, we are fearless in the face of danger. As we live our lives and become more experienced, we learn lessons. Sometimes those lessons help us move forward. Other times, those lessons slow us down, as we get caught up overthinking all the potential outcomes.
In business, just like in this race, you need to look at the obstacle in front of you and understand it without overthinking it. During the race, the more I thought about the obstacle, the more afraid I became. This situation reminds me of the phone calls we make in business when we have to communicate difficult news to our clients. I have in the past overanalyzed the scenarios and outcomes. In the end everything, turned out better than I thought. I was just over thinking it.
Lesson 2: Listen and Learn from Your Teammates
I am working on being stronger for each every race, but I have to admit that my teammates are much stronger and faster than I am – for now. Part of being a good leader is learning to listen.
I had to stop and listen and learn from my team about how to get through some of the obstacles. If I hadn’t have had their guidance, it would have taken me much longer to navigate the Mud Run Course.
This is so true in my office too. I have not written a line of code in a very long time. I rely on my developer to explain her approaches and why they are strong strategies. I listen to my designer when he explains why he has chosen the color and layout he has in mind for this particular clients project. Trusting their strengths enriches the final project. As a team we work together to come up with the best outcomes for our clients.
Lesson 3: Confidence is Key
On Sunday morning, I woke up feeling very anxious about the race. Probably because I knew it was going to be tougher than the last one.
I have always been someone who does not want to hold others back. Before I even got to the first obstacle I was wavering in my confidence. Not a good way to start!
In business we need to approach each and everything we do with confidence. We may not always get it right, but without the confidence to face our challenges whole-heartedly and with strength we’re going to freeze up. Just like I did on some of those tall walls! Whether you’re a solopreneur or entrepreneur with a sizeable staff, leading with confidence is key.
Needless to say I learned quite a few lessons from yesterday’s mud run. I am learning that I enjoy them so much – even though at times they scare me. It is very much like running a business. Every day I find a moment of excitement in what I do that reminds me why I do it, and every day I do what I can to overcome my different fears to become better than I was the day before.