Leader, do you need a change of environment?

Long Run Distance:  18

People who are and strive to be leaders tend to take ownership of the situation, the actions, and the results that are derived from effort.   We will take the blame, because we also want to take the credit.   Rarely do you see a strong leader citing the environment as the problem, and if they do, you feel like they are playing the blame game.  Buck up and own it you want to say!

But running in this heat has led me to question if sometimes we do as leaders need to pay more attention to our environment.  When it is almost October and you are running 16 miles before 9 am and the temperature reaches 90 before you finish, you begin to question just how strong your performance can be in such suffocating conditions.

I’ve also had clients past and present on both in the leadership coaching and career coaching side of the house struggling with performance issues. And on some occasions, what would really help improve their performance is related directly to their satisfaction with work that has root in them simply being in the wrong place.

Taking some cues from running aliments in the heat, here’s how to know if you need to consider a change in environment in order to up your leadership game:

  1. Are you chafing? Chafing occurs when there is a constant rubbing of clothing to skin or skin on skin.  It leaves you raw.  It is usually has something to do with the heat and the distance you are running.  More heat, longer distance, more chafing.  And it hurts.

Do you spend time at work and leave each day feeling raw? Is the constant friction causing pain with no remedy- short of a major Vaseline intervention- in sight? You may need to get out of the heat and find a better environment for you to thrive.

  1. Are you hangry? Hangry is a play on words we runners (and mothers) use to describe the state of anger resulting from hunger.  I’ve been hangry lately, which at first glance seems to be just about the up in mileage, but in considering it, I think it also has a lot to do with the fact that I’m constantly thirsty because running in the heat is totally depleting my fluid levels and making me loose more calories which makes me even hungrier and angrier because the hunger never seems to subside.

Is your environment causing you to be both angry and hungry?  Are you hungry for more satisfaction in your work and angry that you aren’t getting it?  Has the anger extended outside of work to where you are taking it out on family and friends?  If so, time to consider a change in environment.

  1. Have you bonked? In other words, is your performance in the pits? Eleven miles in on Saturday after running about a mile in a completely unshaded area and direct heat caused me to bonk.  My pace slowed from about a 9:30-9:45 pace to, at the end, a 12-minute mile pace. I might as well have been walking. The distance contributed to this, but the heat made it ten times worse.

Have you hit a wall at work? Is there is no way in sight for your performance to improve given the distain you have for your environment? You may not have it in you to improve or you may not even want to.  If so, its time for a change.

Our run this morning was a 50-degree Godsend.  Eight miles didn’t feel like eight miles, or at least the type of eight milers we’ve been doing over the last month at 70+ temps when it is still dark outside. No chafing, no hangry (so far today) and no wall.  Satisfaction through an environment change.  Do you need one?

Mary Ila Ward

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