What a time to see Eliud Kipchoge break every barrier to attain the marathon world record. Many cynics thought this would not be possible, but I must say, I almost shed a tear or two when he crossed the finish line at 1:59:40.2. It’s a great and proud moment for Kenya and the world, reminding us we can achieve beyond our limits. Well, I know we all watched the marathon so I won’t dive into the events of what happened. Rather, I sat down after, in a burst of inspiration to think how this translated to the lives of entrepreneurs and business people. What lessons can entrepreneurs learn from Eliud Kipchoge? Four things came to mind:
While running a business it is easy to get overwhelmed and lose focus. You wake up one morning and you have multiple fires to put out and you start reacting instead of predetermining outcomes. Looking at Eliud we see, as far as 2 years before the Marathon, he knew his goal was to run below the 2-hour mark. Everything he did from that time was to make sure he achieved this.
Also, watching the documentary, we see the trainers breaking the goal into micro goals. During training, they first made him run the half marathon at a particular time target and after this, the full marathon. As the head of your company, remember to set clear bite-sized goals for your team. Let them know about the ultimate goal, but also break the goal down into smaller milestones. This will motivate your team each time they accomplish the smaller milestones and eventually they will usher you into your ultimate goal.
Back in primary school, I used to compete in the swimming gala. I remember standing on the diving stools, the whole school and parents watching. One of my friends on the next diving platform was so nervous that threw up into the pool. Well, that’s how the gala ended.
Now imagine the amount of pressure Eliud Kipchoge had after announcing to the whole world what he was planning to do.
To be the best you must learn to perform at the best of your ability regardless of the multiple expectations and pressures around you. Even in times of uncertainty, when the numbers don’t look like they will add up.
I find the best way to do this is to be confident in yourself. Also, remember to plan ahead. There is confidence when you know you have prepared in advance. When you’re about to panic just whisper to yourself ” What would Eliud Kipchoge do (WWEKD)?”
A huge lesson form Eliud Kipchoge is you can’t win alone. The pacesetters played a key role, not only psychologically but also in terms of improving aerodynamics by running around Eliud in an arrow formation. It is said that this formation helped save a couple of minutes that he would have lost otherwise. Also, watching his documentary, there was a full team of qualified individuals from performance engineers to his coach who worked with him to attain his goal.
This squarely applies to your company as well, you need a team and the right team for that matter. It is easy to fall into developing founder’s syndrome, where you can’t trust anyone with your vision. This will cause you to burn out and accomplish below your potential. Get the right team for your dream and trust them to get you to the finish line.
Most times in life you don’t always get it right on the first try. Eliud tried getting below the 2-hour mark 2 years ago but missed it by 25 seconds and I love how he responded to that. He said “It still doesn’t mean that human beings are limited. The goal was to finish below the 2-hour mark, it only means the world is 25 seconds away”. I mean, how does he come up with these quotes, especially at a time when you feel you didn’t achieve your goals. He continued believing he could and 2 years later he did it.
Your company may be struggling to achieve the goals you have set but remember sometimes you need to try again and again. You may get it on the first try or the tenth, the trick is to keep doing it and giving it your best each time.
At this point, I’ll go ahead with my celebrations, but I hope these lessons from Eliud Kipchoge resonate with your personal life as a CEO or founder.
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I am sure Eliud Kipchoge has a few people around him helping him with a few tasks here and there so that he can concentrate on running. We want you to concentrate on running as well. Choose Nairobi Garage Today. Click here to see our packages.