This article was first posted on LinkedIn on September 18, 2019.
I always liked running but I never fully committed to it. This year, for the first time, I started running regularly with the goal of completing a half-marathon (13.1 miles). After training for more than six months, I was able to successfully complete my first half-marathon, the CUS Parma Half-Marathon 2019. In those six months, I learned a lot about my body, how to motivate myself, and about other runners. I came to the conclusion that (half-)marathoners are the kind of people companies should be looking for when hiring. Runners make better employees!
Runners make better employees!
I made a list of 10 reasons why a runner is likely to be the best candidate for a new job and to become a member of your team:
- Commitment. Preparing for a (half-)marathon requires some serious dedication. Unless you plan to walk for most of the 13.1 or 26.2 miles, you must train your body to run almost no-stop for 2 to 4 hours. If like me, you spend most of your day in front of a computer, running those distances doesn’t come naturally, it takes training, a lot of training. Getting up early in the morning or leaving in the evening after work for a run takes commitment and determination. A runner is a person that knows what commitment is. You can count on that.
- Planning. Preparing for a (half-)marathon also requires planning. Serious planning. Not every run in the weekly schedule should be the same. To increase speed and extend distances, a runner must alternate fast, slow, long, and short runs. He/she needs a plan. A (half-)marathoner knows how to make a plan and how to stick to it.
- Resilience. We all have been told that running is a natural activity. It is true, but to go out for a run every day challenges you, the runner, with many daily issues and problems. You will likely have to deal with some minor injury, some pain, and indeed some discomfort. Running will teach you to be resilient, to overcome difficulties, and to look at and evaluate each problem in the context of your main goals. The secret is to be able to dismiss small issues while taking the main matters seriously.
- Perseverance. Even for the best runners, progress is never linear. There will always be days where, despite all our efforts and determination, our performances are not improving. It takes perseverance to keep going, to stick to a training schedule patiently, to wait for the moment when our performance will finally move up a little bit toward the final goal.
- Balance. Balance is a crucial ingredient in the life of a runner. Balance means doing your job, spending time with your family, having a social life, while finding the time to train for your running goals. Balance is also the ability to push your body enough to improve your performance without injuring yourself. A successful runner knows a lot about balance.
- Positive attitude. Running is an activity that can give back incredible psychological rewards, satisfaction, and happiness. At the same time, in every run, there are moments where we, the runners, have to fight against moments of laziness, tiredness, discomfort. We know that in the long term, the benefits and the joy will be massively superior to the cost and the suffering of the moment. Only a calm and healthy positive attitude allows the runner to keep going..
- Goal-based attitude. When training for a (half-)marathon, a runner has to stay focused on his long term goal for months, sometimes years. Only a sincere and robust goal-based attitude will help him on the path to complete the training as planned and reach the final goals.
- Combine Tactic and Strategy. In a (half-)marathon, there are always critical moments when the goal of the finishing line appears to be too far away. The finishing line goal is not enough to overcome the crisis, to keep us running. In those moments, the runner switches from strategy to tactics. Instead of focusing only on the distant main goal (strategy), the runner switches to a smaller but closer goal (tactic) such as keeping up with another runner, completing a lap, or merely moving forward another step. A runner knows how to balance tactics with strategy.
- Teamwork. Every runner knows that running with a team can significantly improve his/her performance. Running with others, and in particular, running with friends makes you faster than when you run alone. A group of runners is the best example of a healthy mix of competitiveness and mutual support. Group performance is generally better than a solo performance. A runner knows that training with a team can help him become a better runner.
- Accomplishments. A runner career is a sequence of accomplishments. Some are personal (weight loss, persistence, etc.), while others are more public, such as race, speed, or distance. A runner knows how to select a goal, how to make a plan to reach that goal, and how to organize his/her life to make sure to accomplish it. Moreover, a runner knows how to celebrate each and every result.
You might have noticed that I didn’t talk about physical strength or any other physical trait of runners. I only spoke about skills and (positive) attitudes. Next time you interview a candidate for a job position in your company, ask him/her if he/she is a runner. Runners make better employees!
Franco Folini lives and works in the eCommerce territory, a wild area between the Kingdom of Technology and the Kingdom of Marketing. He speaks fluently the language of both realms. For many years, Franco has been helping people bridge the divide and successfully collaborate.
If you want to find out more about Franco, visit his LinkedIn profile or send him an email folini[at]gmail.com