Fit to Lead is a weekly series sharing the leadership lessons that I learned from getting fit.
As I explain in my new book, Operation Melt: How I Used Life-Changing Project Management to Lose Over 100 Pounds in Under a Year, I have recently gone through a significant personal transformation. I attribute much of my success to my decision to leverage my years of project management and continuous improvement to accomplish my goal.
Throughout my transformation I learned that there are many important parallels between getting fit and becoming a good leader. There are also many lessons that I have learned about fitness from being a good leader. In short there are significant synergies between fitness and leadership.
Fit to Lead is part of my quest to build a world where no goal ever dies of loneliness.
Don’t Go It Alone
“If you want to go fast, go alone; but if you want to go far, go together.”African Proverb
Our best results in fitness, project management, leadership or anywhere else aren’t accomplished by ourselves. Call it a tribe, a village, a team or whatever else you want to call it but it takes teamwork to make big things happen.
When you are starting, or even in the middle of, any journey make sure that you aren’t trying to go it alone. You need the support of other people to achieve you goals. Here are some tips for how to make it work.
Do The Research
Weather it is fitness or leadership nobody starts out as an expert. It takes work and dedication to build knowledge. This work starts with doing your research.
Spend time reading and learning more about the things that are most important to you. Leverage the work already done by others to build your own knowledge. This should be a focus every day but especially when you are just starting out in any discipline.
Turning to the internet to find sources of information and learning is a great choice. You can find countless blogs, articles, discussion forums, videos and podcasts to help you build your leadership knowledge and skills. Just remember to apply a filter to make sure you aren’t accepting somebody’s unfounded point of view as reality.
Consult the Experts
When I started my fitness journey I didn’t do it by myself. I consulted with my doctor and other experts for input and to gut-check my plan. The knowledge and experience that these people brought to the table was very important to not only my success but my safety too.
Similarly in the leadership space there are tons of experts who have been in your shoes before. Leverage the knowledge that these experts offer to you. Find a few good mentors to help you with your journey. Build a circle of advisors who you can bounce your ideas off of and from whom you can seek advice.
Be the Expert
Remember those experts who helped you advance in your journey? Remember how they selflessly made time to share their expertise with you? Remember how important that was and how it helped get you where you are today? Your turn.
Now you are an expert!
As you advance in your journey you are building knowledge and expertise of your own. This expertise is absolutely valuable to others who aren’t as advanced in their journey as you are. Be very generous with your knowledge and share with others whenever you have an opportunity. It not only helps the other person in their journey but helps you in your own journey as well.
This is one of the main reasons that I share my Operation Melt blog and spend time contributing to it each week. This is also a big factor in why I wrote my book and why I spend time mentoring others. Give generously in all ways including your knowledge.
Thanks so much for reading this week’s Fit to Lead article. I sincerely hope that you can apply some of these ideas to your own leadership journey starting today. By working to improve our leadership together we can help build a world where no goal ever dies of loneliness. Plus, because goals are dreams with a deadline, maybe we can work together to make dreams come true!