September 4, 2007

Are You a Runner or a Jogger?

I used to be a runner, and I was fast. I was not world class fast, but was fast enough to compete at the national level in college. When I saw other people out running I could almost immediately recognize if they were a “runner” or a “jogger”. I probably was not always right, but was confident (and still am) that I was right 80% of the time.

Below is a table that outlines the characteristics of a runner versus a jogger.

NOTE: All items in white are what I think are me now…maybe I’m still a runner. :-) I just love listening to TED talks, sermons, and entrepreneur podcasts when I run.

I stopped running shortly after college and transferred the energy I had to put into running into my career. (I’ve now started running again, but it is more because I am getting to the point where I need to exercise so I don’t turn into a soft bread stick. I could never be a bread roll, if you know me you know why.)

I’ve been in business about the same amount of time I was a competitive distance runner, and during my run jog today realized that running and business have a lot in common. I can generically assess after working with someone a short time if they are a runner or jogger in business. Here is the same table as above for business.

If you had to highlight the descriptions that fit you, are you a runner or a jogger? Better yet, if you had to hand this to all your co-workers to highlight about you would you be a runner or a jogger? The second is a better exercise because business is a race where everyone has to run together, but you can only run as fast as your slowest team member. If you have one or more areas in the “jogger” column, work this week to become a “runner”. The great part about business versus running is that you can change any of the business columns almost overnight. It can take weeks or months in running.

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