After completing the Ironman in Coeur d’Alene (IMCDA) on 6/26/11 (see race report) and having to walk the marathon due to stabbing knees, I decided to use my fitness and see if the half-Ironman distance would be a better distance for me. Plus, there just happened to be a local half-Ironman at Lake Stevens, WA, which is about 1 hour and 45 minute drive from my house on 8/14/11, which gave me plenty of time to recover from the full Ironman.
On June 26th, 2011, I became an Ironman. This came after making the decision to take on this challenge only 6 months earlier. To set some context, this was my first Ironman and first triathlon, I have not swam, biked, or run more than a mile in about 20 years. I used to be in top shape from 17 years of hockey but for the past 20 years I have been working primarily in front of a computer so I was feeling like a slug.
In mid-December, I decided it was time to set a BIG goal that would give me the motivation to really get back in shape. The Ironman seemed like a worthy goal so I checked ironman.com and the Ironman in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho was the closest one. The Ironman consists of a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and 26.2 mile run (full marathon) and you have 17 hours to complete it. The only challenge was that I only gave myself 6 months to train.
A common theme I have experienced in large companies is that there is either a lack of clarify in who makes the decisions, too many decision-makers, or one decision-maker holding up progress by trying to make every decision in their organization. While the last scenario has a clear understanding of who is in charge, the organization is handicapped. Let’s look at each scenario in more detail:
WOW!!! Who would have thought the Seahawks could pull this off. They had the worst record in history for a wildcard game and beat the reigning Super Bowl champions. Late in the 4th quarter the Seahawks had a 14 point lead and they lost momentum with a missed pass interference call that would have setup a touchdown. Then a delay of game penalty put them out of field goal range. This caused them to have to punt and the Saints answered with a touchdown and then a field goal, making it a close game with momentum going to the Saints. With about 3 minutes left, I was telling a friend “why do they keep running the ball when they keep losing yards. The very next play, Marshawn Lynch ran the ball something like 60 yards, breaking 7 TACKLES! That pretty much ended the game. Wow, I still can’t believe they pulled this off. Hopefully this will give them the momentum and belief that they can go all the way.
A few days ago, I decided to go for it and registered for the Ironman. For those who aren’t familiar with the Ironman, it’s a triathlon in which participants swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles, and finish it off with a 26.2 mile run (a full marathon), all within 17 hours in order to become an Ironman. It began as a challenge between a group of Navy Seals and now the Ironman has grown to become one of the most recognized endurance events in the world.
I registered for the Ironman event that will be held in Coeur’d’Alene, ID on June 26th, 2011. This worked out perfect because it’s within driving distance and gives me 6 months to train.
When mentoring young professionals and students on planning their careers, I tell them what I wish someone would have told me early in my career. That is that two of the most important things you can learn that will enable your success in any field is communicating (especially public speaking) and developing strong business relationships. We’ll save communicating for another post but the topic of this post will be how to develop strong business relationships.
There have always been nomadic workers who work on the road. In the past decade, a new type of nomad has emerged, the Digital Nomad. As technology has enabled affordable, continuous connectivity anywhere, more and more information workers have moved toward a mobile lifestyle.
Dell provides technology to these workers and has created an online community for these Digital Nomads. Here is their definition of a Digital Nomad:
“In the Connected Era, Digital Nomads will Rule – Redefining productivity, placeshifting and timeshifting. Their devices won’t wait to connect – they will simply be connected. Always. Everywhere. Business as usual will become business unusual.”
Decisions are made at all levels of an organization, spanning short-term tactical to long-term strategic, unimportant to critical, low-risk to high-risk, simple to complex, and common to unusual.
How does a CEO improve and influence the full range of decision-making at all levels of their organization?
If you are a cubicle dweller, I feel your pain. I’ve been there. I’ve got the t-shirt. After 6 years with one Fortune 500 company and 7 years with another, I made the jump to solo consulting. There’s a whole story there but we’ll save that for another time. Let’s just say that going solo was the best move I’ve made in my career. The goal of this post is to lay out the case for you to go solo.