Just gonna let some stuff flow here.
I recently read a few things regarding leadership, mental health etc, all of which mentioned that being physically fit is a significant help. So, I started running. Or, to be more specific, I started to get in the habit of running. But, there is no set end point. There is no target (time or distance), that once I reach, I have become what I want to be and can then go and aim for something else. This is a continuous exercise, not in getting fit per se, but in getting into a habit.
Being able to get into a habit.
A fundamental part of leadership is doing what you say. Another fundamental part of leadership is change. So, to put those together, I have to be able to make the change myself to show others that it is possible for them to do it as well. Making a change for a day or two is easy. Keeping that change in place requires habit. The running is an exercise (pardon the pun) in examining the ups and downs of making something a habit, so that when I decide to make something else a habit, I have the experience of consciously developing a habit on my own.
I have always had a bit of trouble with the term fitness. In that it is a very general and over used word. I am a fencer, have been for ten years, and the training I have done has made me a reasonable fencer, I can fence for two hours straight. I'm tired at the end, but I have enjoyed it. Put me up against a rugby player, and I am not fit (fit for purpose is a better term here), I am not fit for the purpose of playing rugby. Similarly, a rugby player who has never fenced, no matter how much more physically fit than I, is not fit for the purpose of fencing.
Running, whilst allowing me time to reflect, does not carry that same sense of enjoyment that fencing does. Fencing was something that didn't need to be built up into a habit. Learning about leadership is a similar thing, I enjoy it, I enjoy analysing and observing and questioning. But, some of the things that need to be done in leadership, some of the things that will help me to be a better leader, do require me, personally to either develop new, or change existing habits. That is the primary reason for the running.
(The voices in my head are snoring at the moment :-) )
by Jim Taggart
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