All posts filed under: Gratitude

How strong is your WHY?

I do these races to better myself, to acquire new skills, life lessons and test my metal in the toughest of elements. In addition, the shared sense of purpose you encounter with like-minded individuals create an experience that is hard to replicate.   This year as I wrote on Monday, I entered as a team. I now start these races knowing what it takes to finish and am prepared to handle the majority of obstacles that stand in between me and the finish line.  The team element is a new level of difficulty and risk/reward that increases the learning I bring home. Like mentors before me, I enjoy sharing these experiences and paying forward to those who are interested.   Who are some of the characters you meet and why are they there? Three entrepreneurs who ran together 14 years ago in the eco-challenge and are using this as a forum to bond a relationship as they start a new business venture A former top runner and world-class photographer from Korea.  He was there for the …

Sacrifice for the team

We are officially done the race and resting in Bariloche! What an incredible adventure! I can’t say enough about what a spectacular week the race organizers put on, the professionalism of the local camp team and the spirit of the volunteers and fellow competitors. When we started the week, what success looked like to us as a team was: 1) Start as a team, finish as a team 2) Finish in the top 3/5 teams 3) Finish in the top 1/3 of all competitors 4) Have many laughs along the way and enjoy the journey We delivered on all those goals and made memories to last a lifetime. We almost blew up as a team on day 2 and found a way to hold it together to finish out strong! We ran through hot climates, alpine forest, the Andes mountain range, national parks, private lands, saw the most incredible stars and finished at one of the most recognizable extinct volcanoes in the world, Tronador.  Spanish for Thunder, Tronador is located on the border between Argentina …

How to prepare for your biggest talk ever

When I was a sales rep, I used to get nervous presenting in front of customers or even my own sales team.  Groups or 8-10 were intimidating to me!   I made a decision that good public speaking was a skill I want, no need, to have.   What did I do? I took a one-day presentation class offered by my company I took a 13 weeknight class offered by our University in Toronto I put my hand up for any chance to present in front of our company I found colleagues inside and outside the company that also wanted to learn a great skill and asked them to join. It kept us both accountable and helped have an internal advocate when I needed it. I found my own secret sauce. I combined my skill at work (sales) with my passion in life (running) to make a unique presentation that people would want to hear. I made some big improvements and some crash and burns, along the way! I slowly moved from being more comfortable in front …

Characteristics of a 3 time championship team

I was talking to a mentor of mine last week who is the CEO of a local company in Toronto and a top-notch Athlete. He is actually not (self-described) a very good runner, however, he makes up for it in pure athletic ability, strategy, and competitiveness.   I asked him advice for the upcoming race I am doing in Patagonia in November as I will be running for the first time as a team.   He said “you need to discuss your game plan ahead of time. Start with the objective for the team.  Is it to win or compete?  Think about the obstacles you are going to encounter and the spots where emotion will come into play and have a game plan for how to handle those conversations.   If someone is slow, gets sick or injured, know how they react to distress and discuss the best way to handle them.  Two, have your plan B, C, D already talked through when level-headed.  Emotions can make things difficult.   Understand how each person is …

5 Ways to Handle A Daunting Road Ahead

Many of us climb the hill every week.   Tough conversations with employees, bosses, customers, and peers.   Tight deadlines on projects, deals, and customer events.   Not to mention personal and family challenges.  How are some of the best leaders seemingly immune to stress?   Most of them are not. They have more practice and a template to handle it!   What do top leaders share with me?   1. Expect it and have a plan.  Visualize your way over and through.   2. Know when to recharge and restore so you can hit it hard the next day.   3. Look back and review what was once hard and how you overcame it?  The past provides clues.   4. Like military men and women making their bunk first thing every morning, get your day started off with even the smallest success.   5. Start the day well and end the day well. End the day with a win to ride the momentum into the next morning. This can be as simple as asking ‘what you are …

Cross-Functional Approach

In talking to both top sales reps, sales, and enablement leaders the last couple weeks, working across the matrix (all pillars in an organization) in one form or another has come up. Who are the people that you need to partner with to get things done? Partnership is one of our top values in enablement. The world is too complex to get most things done alone. Many early in tenure in role try and muscle the sale or program through, instead of quarterbacking the play. I learned the hard way both in sales and in enablement/sales training. It takes a village to onboard a sales rep, to sell a big deal, to accomplish any big hairy audacious goal. Question: Does your calendar align to all those “partners” who will help you get the ball across the line? Your calendar speaks volumes about how you manage your relationships and your time. Have a great hump day! Colin

Rest when you need to rest

I was feeling a little sluggish after my heavy weekend of running. Monday I always take off. Tuesday morning I’m back on. I listen to the body when it signals more rest or to back off. Instead Tuesday I did 20 min of walking incline on the treadmill just to get the blood moving and a small win for the day. I pushed my run to the end of the day and ran home from work. A nice easy pace with my backpack on. A solid sleep and I felt ready to go with my trainer this morning. A strong power workout. Exceeded my expectations. If you push hard daily, slow down and take a rest once in awhile. Recharge. If you rest more than you push, start by pushing harder at least once per week! Listen to your body! Colin

Normalize Anxiety

Just like you can normalize failure, if you are pushing and growing every week, you are going to face some adversity, some anxiety. In sales, making cold calls and negotiating. In leading teams, project deadlines and tough conversations. You are going to face it, so why not prepare for it. Normalize it. Anxiety will always end. Embrace it. Grind the way up, enjoy the way down. Rinse, repeat and grow weekly! Colin

San Francisco Treats

This week I worked out of our San Fran office. My wife had some business out here as well and so we had a rare opportunity to work travel together, which is definitely a fun bonus to a work trip. Blake hasn’t spent much time in San Fran, so we spent Tuesday evening doing some cool touristy stuff: taking the ferry across the bay, riding a streetcar. It’s so easy to overlook the wonders of your own city and then it takes a visitor coming into town to make you appreciate all the splendor just at your fingertips! My challenge to you this weekend is to explore the wonder of your home city. Do that touristy thing you’ve said you’ve always wanted to do but put off for another day. Reconnect with what made you love your hometown in the first place.  Colin

Can you go a little bit further?

I had some big training goals this past weekend. I try and incorporate time with my wife Blake when possible. As she likes to say, “Colin runs far, I only run for the subway.”  However, she is a good little hiker and we got some time in the Rocky Mountains recently, and she likes Soul-Cycle. On Saturday, I went for a two-hour run prior and then walked over to Soul-Cycle to finish out together. Every class gives you a different experience based on the instructor. Like the leader of a team, sometimes you take queues from the one at the front, modeling the way, other times it’s within you. You have small choices to make every day. Can you go just a little bit further, a little bit harder? Or will you let life dictate your direction? Sometimes a leader needs to give you a little nudge and sometimes you need to turn up the dial a couple notches and believe in yourself.