In my own personal growth journey, I never imagined how much learning, especially on leadership, there is in living two of my passions: mountain bike riding and being out in nature—on the trails. Here are 5 key lessons learned as a mountain biker that I have applied as an entrepreneur and business leader. You may find these helpful as well.
1. Be Prepared
Okay, my first time out on the trail wasn’t a good one with no prep work at all…just showed up with only my bike. Not enough water, snacks, or tools to help me get through the ride. Preparation is critical. Know where you want to go. Be clear on the goals you want to accomplish. Get your mind and body ready for the ups and downs of the day or the journey. Set powerful intentions for the outcomes you want to create. Riding, like leading others, is not effective when you just “wing it.”
2. Invest in the Right Equipment
“Don’t even think you can hit the rugged trails with your $99-Walmart cruiser,” my riding coach said to me. Having the right equipment and tools makes a world of difference with speed, technique, and strategy for going the distance and reaching the goal. Leadership is not just about the right software or the latest technology to support your business operations. It’s also about hiring the right people with the right mindset, skills, knowledge, and abilities into your organization.
3. Know Your Strengths and Weaknesses
My riding got so much better after completing two technical skills classes with a professional biking coach. These sessions helped me stay loose when riding, maintain momentum on the uphill climbs and downhill speeds, shift gears appropriately, and to focus my eyes on the path, not just what is below or in the way. As a leader of people, there is power in asking for help, being vulnerable, and allowing others to share their strengths with you. Sometimes it takes working with an Executive Leadership Coach who can guide you to see which blind spots are getting in the way of your success. One of my clients had no idea his lack of eye contact was getting in the way of his intention to build better relationships. That simple shift made a world of difference.
4. Encourage Others Along the Way
In my biking tribe, there are all levels of riders and all are welcomed. We all share our love and passion for riding and want many to experience it too. A term I love most is the “No Drop Zone.” This means no one is left alone during a group ride no matter who you are and what your skill level. Someone is assigned the lead whom we follow on the trail and another person is the “sweeper” who ensures that no one is left behind. As a leader, you have the opportunity to create a no-drop-zone workplace, where all team members are included and supported. How diverse and inclusive is your workplace? What are you doing to encourage others along your leadership journey?
5. Take Time Out
Riding through nature allows me time for some critical self-reflection on what I am doing in my business and in life on what’s working, what’s not, and the courage to make changes if needed. Check out this video for inspiration on “enjoying the ride” of life.
In the press of day-to-day responsibilities, it’s easy to forget the bigger picture and wider world. Paying attention to lessons like these will help you become a better leader – even if you never get on a bike.
What leadership lessons have you learned from living your Passions? If you’d like to discover what your top passions are and how you can leverage them in your role as leader, schedule a discovery session today at http://passionpoweredleadership.com/contact-anita-torres/.
Anita, Passionista, Torres, M.S., CPLP, CEC, ACC
Certified Executive Coach and Consultant
Passion Powered Consulting, LLC