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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Leadership It's a Marathon, Not a Sprint - Gordon Tredgold

About two or three months after starting the blog I decided to run a marathon to raise money for charity in support of several friends who were going through chemo therapy. As a non runner who had now taken up a big challenge what I found was that much of what I was doing in preparation and training had so much in common with what I was writing about on Leadership, such as Goal Setting, Motivation, Preparation, planning, etc., that it gave me an idea to combine the two things together.
By combining them I thought I might be able to find a structure for my book, something that I had been looking for but had trouble nailing down.
Then it hit me, if I was going to combine the two then why not use the format of the marathon, the start, 26 miles and of course, the finish.
So with that in mind I decided that I would write 26 chapters, one for each mile of the marathon. I did think about using kilometers, but given the marathon is 42km I thought that might be stretching the metaphor, and my writing skills, beyond breaking point.
I also decided that as I was running the marathon for charity, and I was going to combine that with my writing, then I should also donate a percentage of any sales from the book to charity.
For the marathon I had already chosen a charity, McMillan Trust, who provide support for cancer suffers. For the book I chose a different charity, my friend Kristen who said she would come and run the marathon with me had set up a charity for Ovarian Cancer, as a survivor she felt a strong need to give something back to fight this terrible disease, and I wanted to give her support to return the favour she was giving to me, so I will contribute 30% of any profit form the book to her charity.
So now I that had the motivation and a structure, this gave me everything I needed to make a success of the book.
I started with the first chapter about setting goals, I already had the final chapter achieving success, so all I needed to do now was to add the intervening chapters and as I trained I received great ideas, as I used leadership to motivate me and guide me on the journey.
Many of the connections were obvious such as motivation, planning, preparation, etc., but there were others that came as a surprise. Such as Mile 13: What got you Here, Won’t Get You There.
This is a very in leadership, but interestingly I also suffered with this in the marathon. Half way through my training, which I had done with little or no guidance, I was able to run a half marathon, and as a birthday present a friend bought me a session with a running coach.
I thought that he would be impressed, within 7 weeks I had gone from not being able to run 3km to being able to run 2 half marathons in a week. But he was far from impressed; in fact he told me that my training had been pretty much useless. Unless I was planning to just run a half marathon, because that’s all I was good for. He was pretty brutal about it too, told me I had no chance of succeeding unless I went right back to the start.
The problem? I was running too fast!
I hadn’t trained my body to run in fat burning mode, and he told me that he couldn’t see me being able to run more than 25km without a serious change in my technique.
So I had to start my training all over again, I had to go back and run slower, much slower, until my body was able to run longer distances and then faster at a much lower heart rate.
If I could do that then I would be able to complete the full 42km, if not then I wouldn’t it was as simple as that.
So just like in management, what had got me to a position to run a half marathon, wouldn’t help me complete the full marathon.
There were many such parallels, which had I not run I would never have seen, and which gave me much better insight into leadership.  
Ultimately I managed the change in running style and this allowed me to not only complete the marathon, but also to raise around $4000 for cancer charity.
And like my writing, whilst I won’t stop at my first book, I won’t stop my running with just one marathon. In fact I have already ran a second in Cologne in October 2013, and I am currently in training for the Vancouver Marathon which I will run in May, and then I will run a second marathon, the Athens Marathon. This is over the original course from Marathon to Athens, and this will be greta, as it will also be Kristen’s 50th Birthday and as a dedicated marathon runner what better way to spend your 50th birthday than running the original marathon raising money for a charity you have established.
Kristen’s Charity is the Teal Ribbon Ovarian Cancer Charity -
Gordon Tredgold is the author of Leadership: It’s a Marathon Not a Sprint. Learn more about him at and about his book at  

Leadership: It’s a Marathon Not a Sprint TOC
Mile  1          Big, Bold, Beautiful Goals                                     1
Mile  2    AIM for Success                                                  11
Mile  3    The Power of Why                                                21
Mile  4    Defining Success                                                  27
Mile  5    When to Involve the Troops                                 35
Mile  6    The Importance of the First Follower                  43
Mile  7    Believe In What Is Possible                                 49
Mile  8    Just Show Me How                                               55
Mile  9    Eating the Elephant                                             63
Mile  10   Happy Underachiever                                         69
Mile  11        No Mañanas                                                        79
Mile  12   Attitude vs. Aptitude                                            87
Mile  13   What Got You Here Won’t Get You There!          93
Mile  14  Measuring for Success                                       105
Mile  15   Effective vs. Efficient                                          111
Mile  16   The Art of Motivating                                         119
Mile  17   Lead by Example                                               125
Mile  18   Reward and Recognition                                     131
Mile  19   Positive Competition                                         139
Mile  20  Mistakes: The School of Hard Knocks                147
Mile  21   Accountability vs. Responsibility                       155
Mile  22  The Law of the 5 Ps                                            163
Mile  23  Plan, Plan, Follow the Plan                                171
Mile  24  Redefining Possible!                                          177
Mile  25  It’s Not Over Till the Fat Bloke Runs                  185
Mile  26  Success is a Journey, Not a Destination              193
About Gordon Tredgold

Gordon has worked in IT for over 20 years and is a specialist in Transformational Leadership, Operational Performance Improvement, Organisational Development, Creating Business Value via IT, and Program and Change Management.
Gordon has an excellent Global and International experience having lived and worked in UK, Belgium, Holland, Czech Republic, USA and Germany. He also has multi sector knowledge including FMCG, Logistics, Utilities, Telecoms, Aviation, Banking and Finance.
About – Leadership: It’s a Marathon Not a Sprint
Leadership: It’s a Marathon not Sprint, is a pragmatic Leadership guide, explaining leadership principles in an  easy to use, easy to understand and more importantly easy implement style.
The book is split into 26 chapters, one for each mile of the marathon. In each chapter i explain a leadership principle in detail, provide examples of that principle being used in a business context, then each chapter concludes with how that principle was applied to my running goal of running my first Marathon at the age of 52.
This book will be of interest to existing leaders and people looking to move into leadership.
Clear, straightforward advice bases on the principles of Simplicity, Transparency and Focus.
Visit Gordon Tredgold’s blog -
Leadership It’s a Marathon Not a Spirnt -