Moving Faster Together

Recently I ran in a 5k (http://www.tnrun4kids.com/) where the proceeds went to benefit the Tennessee Baptist Children’s Home. At the end I realized I had set a new personal best for that distance.

After the race I tried to reflect on some of the reasons I believed I was able to set a new personal record.

  1. The goal had been set. There was a finish line.
  2. It was a distance I had trained to run.
  3. Many people had been recruited to the team with a clearly defined goal of finishing the race.
  4. The course had been outlined, there was a clearly defined path
  5. There were markers to get you back on the path if you drifted.
  6. There were distractions but knowing the group was moving together toward the goal made the distractions less of a problem.
  7. There was encouragement along the way…people were cheering us on.
  8. It was much easier to run faster when a group was going in the same direction; we fed off each other’s energy.
  9. There was a reward at the end.

I realized I can apply the points of my success in the 5K to ensure greater success for the teams I lead; both volunteers and employees.

  1. Set goals. People are looking for something they can accomplish, they are looking for goals.
  2. Individuals need to be trained for success.
  3. Teams need to be recruited by a leader and challenged by a goal he or she communicates.
  4. People are looking for someone to lay out the course…show them where they are headed and lead.
  5. If someone strays off course, there needs to be clear communication that the course needs to be corrected.
  6. When everyone is moving together, distractions for one person do not stop the team.
  7. Teams need to be encouraged along the journey, not just rewarded at the end.
  8. When a whole group sees the goal and is moving in the same direction, the task of running the course seems much easier…it is much easier.
  9. Teams will be ready for the next task when we celebrate past accomplishments.

The person setting the course and the people running the races (business, non-profit) have to be on the same page and they can only do that with clear, open communication. When that takes place the group moves together toward the goal and much faster than if they were moving alone.