Often in politics you hear a candidate announce that they are going to run for Congress. They are going to take a run at a campaign for a political seat.   I have that same discussion with leadership teams or an individual when we are starting the strategy and talent planning process. “It is time to go on a run!”


What is a run?

A run is a two to five year focused plan to achieve a targeted objective. When I execute the Strategy and Talent Planning Process with our clients, one of the first things we do with the Leadership Team is define the objectives (i.e., how to achieve a defined vision, record profits, prepare the company for sale).   Going on a run can occur in your company and personal life. It is about working “on” your business or life versus working “in” it.

I have had three memorable runs in my professional life so far. The first was when I went back to night school to earn my M.B.A. I didn’t sleep for two years, but I had a specific end game.

The second was a 5-year run when I was on the leadership team for a manufacturing company and the organizational team took the business from $5 million to $30 million in sales during that four year run.  I came to understand what going on a run meant during that run, because that is exactly what we did.   I remember the feeling of putting another brick on the foundation every day I left work.

The third run in my life was the 5-year roller coaster run of writing and publishing my book, “Stop Selling Vanilla Ice Cream.”

These were three accomplishments that never would have happened if I hadn’t challenged myself to go on a run.

What it can do for you

There are numerous benefits in going on a run either by you or within a team. It inspires and galvanizes a team or individual to achieve special accomplishments in their life.   It allows you to break up your life into smaller, more manageable seasons. It allows you to communicate your planned run in advance to those closest to you, to gain their grace and support. Life can be overwhelming sometimes and this approach provides you the clarity and focus to persevere through each day.

Time to reflect and Rest

Between runs you should allow time to celebrate and rest. Professionally it’s been 1.5 years from my last run publishing my book, and I am refueling the tank right now while preparing to go on another run that has its objective already defined. There is nothing wrong with celebrating those special accomplishments in your life and catching your breath as you work “in” your business and life. However, eventually you have to go on another run. Putting three to four runs in your professional life will make for a great career and help you achieve your dreams.

Are you ready to go on a run in your personal or professional life? Get your team together to talk about going on a run. Start by asking yourself or your teammates: “What is the specific objective or vision? What do I or the team want to accomplish?”   Whatever it may be, develop a plan with specific action plans and a timetable to achieve that objective (process templates complementary at www.stopsellingvanillaicecream.com)

It’s time to go on a run, I’m in. Are you?     Remember, Those Who Plan – PROFIT