Two Bogans and a Leprechaun

Taking the ?triathlon approach? in creating sustainable leadership!

I?participated in the BRW triathlon (400m swim, 10km cycle and a 4km run) about nine years ago with two wonderful women in a team called ?Two Bogans and a Leprechaun?. To date it?s still one of my proudest achievements with lessons I have carried through my life?particularly as a leader. The intention of this post is to share my top three lessons.

Before committing to the event I asked myself ?can I actually do this??. I had competed in running events in the past and loved to cycle but I was scared of the water and not a strong swimmer ? particularly in the open water.

I was assured by many people that swimming in the ocean is easier than swimming in a pool because ?the salt water makes you more buoyant?. Yeah right! This may be the case for experienced swimmers but I felt like I was swimming in a washing machine. I swallowed way too much salt water and constantly felt like I was being dragged out to sea. And if the fear of drowning wasn?t enough I also had a fear of being attacked by creatures in the water?which didn?t help when, during one training session, I swam through a school of jelly fish (resulting in burning pain up my arm).

On the day of the event I entered the water with hundreds of other excited swimmers. The training I?d done had improved my confidence but I was still under-prepared for what I experienced…I had swimmers pulling me under the water to get past; I was whacked on the head several times by arms and feet; and, it took every bit of strength to avoid hyperventilating and passing out. When I made it back to shore I was happy to be alive?and grateful for the comfort of the cycle and run legs that followed.

When I finally crossed the finish line the sense of accomplishment I felt was like nothing else I had ever experienced.

So, my top three lessons?

  1. Say ?yes? to things you?re not good at?then make them your first priority and practice, practice, practice!
  2. Focus on what you can control?and be prepared to adjust when things don?t go as planned
  3. Share your fears & insecurities with people around you and celebrate your accomplishments ? regardless of how insignificant you think they are

Throughout our careers we will be exposed to situations that might make us feel like we?re swimming in a washing machine – and we will need to make a decision on whether we keep going (to build our strength) or give up (to take the easier path). Becoming a sustainable leader is about recognising the things we?re not good at and persisting through the pain and discomfort until we get there.

There are still places available for my Sydney and Melbourne workshops on Creating Sustainable Leadership ? I?d love to see you there!

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