The Last 10 Kilometers Wins The Race  

Vaccine rollout has started. The hills, the rapids, and the rough terrain are moving behind us. Economic recovery is on the way and, in many parts of the world, we can see the finish line. Is your business ready to accelerate out of this?

My oldest and dearest friend Jennifer, is an incredible athlete. She is disciplined, talented, smart and committed. In 2006 she came first in the Halifax Bluenose Marathon. It was exciting and inspiring! And I got to see what it takes to win, to be 'the one to break the ribbon', 'the one on the podium.'

Known for the hills, the Halifax Bluenose Marathon is tough. In fact so hilly, that the 42.2 kilometre route has changed to make it more runner friendly since Jennifer ran it in 2006. A Toronto resident, she came to Halifax prepared and ready to run!  

When Jennifer arrived, five days before the event, we drove the entire route by car. She wanted to see the route, the finish line, and where the water stations would be. She then asked me to go back and drop her off 10km from the finish, so she could run to the finish line. The next day, four days before, she ran the toughest hills including Maple Street and Point Pleasant Park. After the hills, she ran the last 10 km of the route again. And, three days before she did it again.  

Two days before the race, she asked me to drive her on the route of the last 10km. When we got to Point Pleasant Park we got out of the car and walked through the park. This is when I asked, why she was going over and over the last quarter of the route? Here is what she shared with me: 

"Most runners train and train and train. They put the time in. Many focus on pacing themselves so that they will be able to finish. And all runners know, when you can see the finish line, you get a burst of energy. Adrenaline kicks in."  

"However, that's not where the race is won. You can't wait to accelerate until you see the finish line. It begins in the last quarter - 10 km before. You need to adapt, make good decisions, and accelerate. This is where you start to leave people behind. That's where you win the competitive advantage."

The same is true in business.

This is the time to ratchet up. It's time to focus on customers, to set yourself up for success. If you pace yourself, coast along and wait for the pandemic to be over, you are at risk of getting left behind. After 32 kilometres most runners are fatigued and many just 'want it to be over.'

​​I realize the pandemic is not a marathon with a finish line, and many of us are in the third wave, and we can't even hear the crowds cheering at the finish line. However...  I can't help but think of Jennifer's wise words: adapting, making good decisions, and accelerating at the right time.

This is the time that competitive advantage is established.

What you do now is going to set you and your business up for future success.

Next month, I'll share a powerful concept that every company in our current group coaching cohort is benefiting from - and what they have done and what they're doing to set them up for long term success. Please sign up for my newsletter where it will be shared first.