scroll down

All of the great leaders have had one characteristic in common: it was the willingness to confront unequivocally the major anxiety of their people in their time. This, and not much else, is the essence of leadership.

-John Kenneth Galbraith

 

Dedication, perseverance and hard work are three characteristic requirements for both, running a marathon and running a business and by donning both roles over the past few years, I have come to realise how both my worlds have not just intersected but also complemented one another. Maintaining a journal has always been an important life and work resource for me and so, it was but natural when I took up running a decade ago, that I would make detailed notes of my observations around running – for every kilometre covered, as well as observations about human behaviour– both my own, and those of others. Today, upon reading my journals from past years , I’ve come to realise just how much positive change and focus my marathoning has brought to my methods as a business leader.

Here are 2 aspects of marathoning that I believe have impacted my business vision and team-leadership skills the most, 2 more will follow in my next post.

Pacing

Much like quality checks, reviews and feedback in the workplace, pacing gives runners and athletes an accurate measure of their capabilities. An important aspect of pacing in marathons, however, is the creation of Buses.

A Bus is a group of similarly paced runners who have a Bus leader – someone who commits to a finish-time for the group, and then motivates all bus members to meet that goal together. Because it is the leader’s bus, it is the leader’s prime responsibility to guide the bus at a pace comfortable to all, keeping in mind their aspirations as well as capabilities.

Once I had reached a personal pace milestone I was confident about, I decided to take the challenge by the horns, and lead a bus of my own – skipping the interim step of running on other people’s buses.

Leading a bus is a lot like leading a team– the leader possesses an unparalleled depth of knowledge to complete the task at hand and strives to bring out the best qualities of the team to achieve the desired goal. As a team leader, where I need to gauge my team members’ enthusiasm and commitment levels, and infuse them with energy and encouragement through tough terrain is just like a runners’ bus succeeding because of its leader’s vision.

Hard work + Smart Work = Optimal Results

Over the decades of experience I have had running marathons and leading JTCPL Designs, I have come to one important conclusion. While hard work is extremely important, it is only the combination of hard work coupled with smart work that derives optimal results. May this be in the office or on the racetracks, it is through this combination that one is able to steer away the uncertainties and instabilities to achieve anything.

A fellow-runner who mentors marathoners and me regularly helped me created a custom practice schedule that took into account my travel commitments and work demands. This way, I was able to strategically and systematically bring run practices into my everyday life and the results followed suit.

Today, I actively try and instill the ethos of hard work + smart work in my team. Don’t look to achieve the same level of performance every day. Life will get in the way and leave you feeling disheartened that you underachieved on the goal you’d set yourself. Instead, work smart, work along with the constraints and look instead to achieve the optimum output you can despite that day’s obstacles and surprises. End-goals will get met, and you will have avoided the daily mental-load of underachievement.

In the words of legendary marathoner Lynn Jennings, ‘Mental will is a muscle that needs exercise, just like the muscles of the body’

All long-distance runners come to appreciate this fact over time. Today I can say with confidence that my running has sharpened my grit and determination, and made me a more mindful and powerful leader than I ever could have been without it. Life’s Good. God’s Kind.

 

Other Articles

Knowledge Sharing

My #RacetoRaise: A fundraiser campaign for Jai Vakeel Foundation at Tata Mumbai Marathon 2020

The Collaboration Quotient: 5 Ways To Know If You’re A Prime Mover

Reliving My Entrepreneurial Journey With ‘Shoe Dog’

5 Keys to the Algorithm for Success

Identifying 5 Biases That Are An Impediment To ‘Thinking Clearly’

Making A Watermark With Bisleri

5 International Masters Who Inspire Me

My 5 Key Takeaways from the Smart Office Summit

A Workplace Embodying A Global Outlook, Rooted in Tradition

Five Implications for all Businesses from ‘Zero to One’

The 3 Indias and the Shift Towards Co-working Spaces

5 Times I Moved To A New 'Normal'

Evolution of Work Culture: From Ergonomics to Empowerment

India’s New Leading Position in the Global Workspace Arena

5 Lessons Reinforced from Pacing a Faster Runner

5 Reasons Leadership is Overrated- Part 2

5 Reasons Leadership is Overrated- Part 1

My 5 Key Takeaways From The Goal

JTCPL Designers’ Pick: 5 Team Members Name The Best Features In Their Own Workspace

5 Quotes from Sales EQ to prove we are all sellers

5 Writings On The Walls At Spaces That Inspire

5 Reasons Goal Setting Is My Annual Ritual

Creating An Exponential Future Through An Engaged Organisation

5 Reasons Why Slow Is The New Fast

The Infinite Optimism for the Future at Abundance 360

Spaces: Turning a workspace from Good to Great

5 Rules of Workspaces – And How We Broke 4 Of Them While Creating Our Own

Museum Hopping For Design Inspiration

JTCPL Sessions: Art At Work With Arzan Khambatta

Knight Frank Partners With Delos: Moving Towards Spaces That Nourish Mind, Body And Soul

5 Strategies To Designing Your Environment For Success

Designing A Whole New Personality Through Habits

Construction Week Awards 2018: 5 Ways It Strengthened Faith In the Industry

Heart At Work: Dr Aashish Contractor's Health Tips For The JTCPL Designs Team

Automaticity: The Red Pill To Being Who We Want To Be

4 Reasons Why Will Power Doesn’t Work

Creating Academic Environments To Cultivate Unique Ability

Venture Capital Firms, The Incubators Of Disruptive Ideas

Designing Spaces for Those Who Drive Change

Coworking for the Gentry

Applying the Powers of Pre-Suasion to Life

The Changing Role of CRES in a Coworking Future

Exploring Discovery's Move to a Coworking Space

How The Coworking Culture Will Influence Large Companies

The Future of the Commute: Science fact, not fiction

Success Needs A Sense of Purpose... And This Book

Evolution of Workspaces – Part II

Creating a Co-working Community

Evolution of Workspaces - Part I

An Outlier's Route To Success

Launching 2018 with 5 Multiplier Strategies

An Ode to the Indian Masters

The world belongs to those who read

Success Equals Constant Progress For The Marathon Called Entrepreneurship

Human Potential: Optimism

Leap of Faith

​Unlocking Human Potential

Gratitude - The Underrated Value

Why Our Brookfield Project Hit The Right Note

The 3 Lessons I Now Realise I Learnt In College

4 Ways in Which Marathon-Running Is Like Running a Business - Part II

How Running A Marathon Is Like Running A Business - Part I

The Multiplier Effect of Great Collaborations

The Qualities I Value Most in Client-Partners – Emirates Group

Prepare for Departure – My Thoughts on Long-Haul Air Travel

Know Your Collaborative Style & The Archetypes

The Seeker & Knowing Your Collaborative Style in a Workplace

Know Your Collaborative Style in a Workspace - The Prime Movers

My Top Technology Picks in Building and Design, Continued

My Top Technology Picks in Building and Design

The Symbiosis of Culture and Workspace Design

KBS Creations – The Workspace As a Family Home

The 5 Leadership Traits That I Have Honed

Optimising Workspaces for Millennials

Better Running Through Proper Pacing

Designing a Workspace That Celebrates Millennials

My Lessons On How To Set And Achieve Goals In The New Year

Workplace Design and The Art of Sustainability

Life Lessons From Marathon Running

A Collaboration Scorecard For Leaders

The 5Ds Of Success

On Attending The CE Worldwide Conference

My Experience at FOAID 2016

The 'Prince' and the 'Ruby'

The Best Office In Bombay

Engagement and the Global Workplace

10 thoughts on “Engagement and the Global Workplace

  1. Rajendra Bendre

    Great post Ninad!

    We are at our joyful best in places that blow our breath away! Usually at the edge of the unkown, uncertain and the dangerous a precipice, a mountain top, down snow clad mountains while skiing, when the immensity of the landscape in front of us is incomprehensible and so on.

    Will be great when work spaces take our breath away and at the same time bring us all together to express our collective intelligence to make our work an expression of art!.

  2. Swati Balgi

    Congrats Ninad ! Nice to read expert’s views on Workspace Design. Will look forward to read more on your blog.
    Swati Balgi

  3. Praveen

    Ninad nice to read your post…Happy Ken”s session was impactful. .Let’s continue this collaboration around workplace knowledge..

  4. Kiersten

    Hello there! This blog post could not be written any better!
    Reading through this post reminds me of my previous roommate!
    He continually kept talking about this. I am going to forward this
    post to him. Fairly certain he will have a very good read.
    I appreciate you for sharing!

  5. http://www.oriongenomics.com

    You’re so awesome! I don’t believe I have read anything like this before.
    So nice to find another person with a few original thoughts on this
    topic. Seriously.. thanks for starting this up.

    This website is something that is required on the internet, someone with a
    little originality!

Comments are closed.