Are You Running To, From, For or Against?

We’re all running 1000 miles an hour, but are we running in the right direction for the right reason?

Running to – this is goal-driven running. It is having a valid endpoint and a commitment to get there. If you are training for a half marathon, your goal is distinct and specific. “I am going to complete this race on this date.” You can add nuance to the target by setting pace or time measures, but the goal is clear. There might be an injury, sickness, extreme temperatures, and good days and bad days during this training, but you endure for the goal. Setting clear and definable goals is why we do strategic planning, to identify what we are running to and when we hope to get there.

Running from – this must be part of a strategy. A credit union might choose to “run from” a single sponsor to a community field of membership because their sole sponsor is having trouble or the credit union wants to diversify. Not because their goals were too hard or the required work too difficult. A runner knows that weaknesses and threats cannot force them to abandon the destination; it has to be a greater purpose or reason.

Running for – even runners seldom run just for running’s sake. There needs to be a greater purpose. Maybe it’s for health, weight management, stress management, support others, to find your time for introspection. Having a purpose goes for companies too. A mission and values must drive the running. Defining the purpose is why we do strategic planning to ensure our goals and tactics align with our mission and values.

Running against – if you are running against something or someone, have a way to “ping” your reasons up against your values and purpose/mission. Running against for revenge or vindictiveness speaks to the runner’s character. Distance runners know running against headwinds or gravity makes them stronger. But running against another runner to make them feel weak or unworthy is selfish and unsustainable. You should never run against it unless it makes you or your competitor better.

When a leader is running, the goal and purpose must be exact, and the values and mission-aligned.

About Rich Jones

Strategic consultant and Keynote Speaker, Rich brings a deep experience in the disciplines of Strategic Planning, Marketing, Business Development, Digital Transformation, Data Utilization, Leadership Development and Cultural Alignment. A husband, father, runner, cyclist, beer drinker with a passion for life.

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