Lead on Purpose

Promoting Leadership Principles in Product Management

Why leadership is an endurance race

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Success is a marathon, not a sprint. The only way to truly prepare for a marathon is to train, to practice, to run. You need to get out on the road. You need to put in the miles. It takes time, it takes effort, and sometimes it hurts a lot.

As the great marathon runner Juma Ikanga said after winning the New York Marathon: “The will to win is nothing without the will to prepare.” You can want to win more than anyone else in the world, yet if you do not put in the work, it will not matter.

endurance-marathon

Leadership requires the same mindset. You must have a clear vision of what you want to accomplish, then make the decision to do the work required—day after day, month after month—until you achieve your goal.

A great example of enduring leadership was Samuel Adams, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. From as early as 1765, a decade before the Revolutionary War started, Adams called for America’s split from England. An IBD article illustrates the important qualities of strength and courage that helped Adams not only endure but also succeed:

“Samuel Adams’ success came from his willingness to work tirelessly for the cause of liberty. Politics was a kind of ministry for him, and that kind of dedication makes a difference.”

Like the pre-Revolutionary times in which Adams lived, succeeding in today’s world requires endurance and perseverance. Success does not come overnight; it comes after months and years of hard work. Only after pushing through the difficulties we face will we achieve true success.

Take time set a clear vision for what you want to accomplish, then move forward with clear conviction.

Questions: What is your experience with persevering through difficult trials? Why is it important to set clear goals? Please leave a comment in the space below.


The Product Management Perspective: Product development cycles can seem long and arduous at times. As a product manager you need to exercise patience at the same time you persuade others to work hard and work effectively. There are days when it seems like nothing will ever come together the way it needs to. However, those who persist achieve success and become the leaders in their organization.

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