Molly Huddle and Emily Infeld, American professional runners, have taught us some important lessons on following through and never giving up. Huddle and Infeld recently ran the 10,000 meter race at the World Athletic Championships in Beijing.
In the last leg of the race, Huddle showed herself to be a strong contender to win the bronze medal. As she approached the finish line, she threw up her hands in front of her as a victory sign, and slowed down to cross.
What she didn’t see? Infeld right behind her, kicking it into high gear to pass Huddle and take the prize.
So, what’s the lesson, here? It’s follow-through.
Because whether you are personally confident about impending outcomes, or you are uncertain you will meet your goals in a timely fashion, you can’t anticipate with absolute certainty that you have won – until you cross the finish line.
If you are about to get a promotion or close a new deal, you need to make sure all is signed on the dotted line before you schedule the party. Taking success for granted when you haven’t brought it home, yet, is risky. Be diligent, push through until you have a negotiated agreement in hand.
Conversely, if you are plugging along, feeling the tension of that white space before closing, or the pressure of silence that precedes a large “ask,” then you must not give up. Achieving those goals, closing those deals, is always a possibility. Expect success and don’t slow down.
Runner’s World’s Cathy Dennehey reports that just six months ago, “Infeld was at rock bottom, having not run a step in two months due to a stress fracture at the base of her spine. Since then she has recovered her fitness well, training alongside Flanagan on a daily basis, honing the speed that she used to such good effect on the final lap Monday.
Dennehey reports that Infeld did not think a medal was possible.
“My coach was telling us he really thought we could, and I wanted to put myself in it, but I didn’t know if I had this in me. I have the best teammates, I’m so grateful to them.”
See Huddle and Infeld seconds before the finish line, here:
To your success!
Patti Cotton helps executives optimize their effectiveness in leading self, others, and the enterprise. Her areas of focus include confidence, leadership style, executive presence, effective communication, succession planning, and masterful execution. With over 25 years of leadership experience, both stateside and abroad, Patti works with individuals, teams, and organizations across industries, providing executive consulting, leadership development, succession planning, change management, and conflict resolution. She is also an experienced Fortune 500 speaker. For more information on how Patti Cotton can help you and your organization, click here.