Chris “Macca” McCormack has won more Ironman races than any other male in history–12 in all (Ironman = a triathlon race comprised of 2.4 mile swim, followed by a 112 mile bike ride, finished off with a full 26.2 mile run). He is the only man to complete the Ironman in under 8 hours twice. ESPN even declared him “The Worlds Fittest Man.”
Chris was a champion runner before he started triathlons. A champion in one sport found himself underprepared for competing against champions in a new sport as he entered the Ironman competition to crushing losses.
Professional athletes know that the stronger the competition the tighter the training. Those who want to compete know you can’t rely on yesterday’s victories to predict tomorrow’s chances. Winning overtime is about disciplined training fueled by passion–you work hard, because you want to.
This is true in sports and it’s true in leadership. When leaders believe they are good enough, they have already become susceptible to new competitors. When leaders feels like they have reached a level where they no longer half to do the little things that helped get them to where they are, that is the moment they have already lost their competitive edge.
Leaders who have a lasting impact are leaders who are humble enough to know they still need to practice, smart enough to know they need friends in the journey, and hungry enough they’ll do whatever it takes to be ready.