– The author ran the New York City Marathon and achieved a personal best time.
– Running the marathon taught the author valuable lessons about life, leadership, and excellence.
– Mastery is achieved through repetition and becoming familiar with challenges and reactions.
– Consistency is key to success, requiring unwavering commitment and effort.
– Breaking down large goals into smaller, manageable segments makes them less daunting.
– Teamwork is important in both running a marathon and building a successful business.
– A positive and supportive environment is transformative and leads to greater engagement and productivity.
– These lessons have shaped the author’s approach to life, leadership, and excellence.
On Nov. 5, Phil Lang joined 50,000+ others in running the New York City Marathon and finished in 2:43, a two-minute personal best from seven years prior. Here he shares five things that he learned in getting to the top 0.5 percent of finishers.
As I crossed the finish line of the New York City Marathon, a wave of emotions washed over me — pride, elation and a sense of deep accomplishment. I had just completed one of the most challenging courses in the country, and I had done so in a time that I never thought possible.
But more than just a personal achievement, the marathon taught me valuable lessons about life, leadership and the pursuit of excellence. These lessons, honed over miles of training and tested on the unforgiving pavement of New York City streets, have transformed my understanding of what it takes to achieve extraordinary goals.
1. Mastery comes through repetition
The marathon is a grueling 26.2-mile race, and there’s no shortcut to success. It requires months of dedicated training, pushing your body to its limits and beyond.
I’ve run this race over 10 times, and with each repetition, I’ve learned to anticipate the course’s challenges and my body’s reactions. This familiarity has instilled in me a sense of mastery, allowing me to navigate the race with confidence and resilience.
In business, the pursuit of excellence demands a similar commitment to mastery. Just as a marathon runner must become intimately familiar with the course, a leader must gain a deep understanding of their industry, competitors and customers. This knowledge empowers them to make informed decisions, anticipate market shifts and navigate the complexities of the business world.
2. Consistency is the unsung hero
Success in any field, from running marathons to building businesses, requires unwavering consistency. It’s not about the occasional burst of effort or the sporadic moment of brilliance; it’s about showing up day in and day out, putting in the work and never giving up.
In marathon training, there are days when you feel like you can’t run another mile. Your body aches, your mind is foggy, and every fiber of your being screams for rest. But it’s on these days that consistency shines brightest. It’s on these days that you push through the discomfort, lace up your shoes and hit the road.
In business, consistency is the foundation upon which success is built. It’s about implementing strategies consistently, investing in your team relentlessly, and staying focused on long-term goals unwaveringly. It’s about showing up every day, not just when inspiration strikes, but when the work demands it.
3. There’s power in segmentation
A marathon is a daunting undertaking, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer distance. Breaking the race down into manageable segments makes it less intimidating and more achievable.
I use a strategy called “10-10-10,” where I divide the race into three distinct sections. The first 10 miles are about pacing and conservation, the next 10 miles are about maintaining a steady pace, and the last 10 kilometers are about emptying the tank and giving it everything you have.
In business, goal setting follows a similar principle. Breaking down large objectives into smaller more manageable chunks makes them less daunting and provides a clear roadmap for achieving them. By setting weekly or monthly goals that align with overall objectives, teams can stay focused, motivated and on track for success.
4. Teamwork is the secret sauce
Running a marathon can be a solitary endeavor, but it doesn’t have to be. Having a supportive teammate by your side can make a world of difference. During the race, my teammate and I were able to communicate on pacing, keep each other motivated and push each other to perform at our best.
In business, teamwork is the secret sauce that transforms individual efforts into collective achievements. By fostering a collaborative environment, empowering team members and harnessing diverse talents, leaders can create a synergy that drives innovation, productivity and success.
5. The infectious power of positivity
The New York City Marathon is a celebration of the human spirit and resilience. Over a million spectators line the streets, cheering on the runners and providing a surge of energy and motivation. The positive vibes are contagious, lifting spirits and propelling runners forward, especially when fatigue starts to set in.
In business, a positive and supportive environment is equally transformative. When team members feel valued, appreciated, and celebrated, they are more engaged, productive and willing to go the extra mile. Positive leadership fosters a culture of excellence, where individuals thrive and teams achieve remarkable results.
The lessons I’ve learned from running marathons have irrevocably shaped my approach to life, leadership and the pursuit of excellence. These principles are not just about running faster or building bigger businesses; they are about pushing beyond limitations, embracing challenges and discovering the extraordinary potential that lies within each of us.
Phil Lang is chief business officer at The Agency.
Property Chomp's Take:
On November 5th, Phil Lang accomplished a remarkable feat by joining over 50,000 runners in the New York City Marathon. Not only did he finish the race, but he also achieved a personal best time of 2 hours and 43 minutes, beating his previous record by two minutes. In this article, Lang shares five valuable lessons he learned from his marathon experience.
First and foremost, Lang emphasizes the importance of repetition in achieving mastery. Just as marathon runners must train for months to prepare for the race, business leaders must dedicate themselves to gaining an in-depth understanding of their industry, competitors, and customers. This knowledge enables them to make informed decisions, anticipate market shifts, and navigate the complexities of the business world with confidence and resilience.
Consistency is another key factor in success, according to Lang. It's not about occasional bursts of effort or sporadic moments of brilliance; it's about showing up day in and day out, putting in the work, and never giving up. Even on the days when everything feels challenging, consistency shines brightest. In business, this means implementing strategies consistently, investing in your team relentlessly, and staying focused on long-term goals unwaveringly.
Lang also highlights the power of segmentation. Breaking down a daunting task like a marathon into manageable segments makes it less intimidating and more achievable. Similarly, in business, setting smaller, more manageable goals that align with overall objectives allows teams to stay focused, motivated, and on track for success.
Teamwork is the secret sauce that transforms individual efforts into collective achievements, as Lang discovered during the marathon. Having a supportive teammate by his side helped him communicate on pacing, stay motivated, and push himself to perform at his best. In business, fostering a collaborative environment, empowering team members, and harnessing diverse talents can create a synergy that drives innovation, productivity, and success.
Lastly, Lang emphasizes the infectious power of positivity. The New York City Marathon is a celebration of the human spirit and resilience, with over a million spectators lining the streets to cheer on the runners. The positive vibes from the crowd lift spirits and propel runners forward, especially when fatigue sets in. In business, a positive and supportive environment is equally transformative. When team members feel valued, appreciated, and celebrated, they are more engaged, productive, and willing to go the extra mile.
In conclusion, Lang's experience in the New York City Marathon taught him valuable lessons about life, leadership, and the pursuit of excellence. These lessons, acquired through months of training and tested on the challenging streets of New York City, have reshaped his understanding of what it takes to achieve extraordinary goals. Whether it's running a marathon or building a business, pushing beyond limitations, embracing challenges, and discovering the extraordinary potential within each of us are essential ingredients for success.