Are you being Intentional about Accelerating your Career?

by Joe Lavelle on January 24, 2011

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In the past three years, I have decided to incorporate long distance running into my physical fitness regimen for a variety of reasons from wanting a forum to raise money to fight Cancer to wanting to be able to continue to eat like a 20 year old as a 40+ year old.  I have run one full marathon and 6 half marathons in the past three years which would not sound all that impressive to most distance runners.  But, the bigger story is that I have trained to be ready to run a half marathon at any time for the last two years; in fact in the last year I have run 90-100 miles each month.  What’s the point?

I have been intentional about running enough to stay fit and to be ready to run in a race at anytime.  What do I mean by intentional?  Here are some of the details?

1) I set long term goals

      • Run a marathon before I turned 45 (accomplished)
      • Run a 1/2 marathon in under 2 hours (accomplished)
      • Run a marathon in under 4 hours

2) I set many short term goals

      • Run with friends in a race (accomplished)
      • Run with family in a race (next month in New Orleans)
      • Increase speed from 9 minute miles to 8 1/2 minutes  (accomplished)
      • Increase speed from 8 1/2 minutes to 8 minutes

3) I tracked my progress toward my goals and adjusted as necessary

      • Luckily there is a great site to do this, DailyMile
      • I didn’t know this to begin with but I would require adjustments to my running gear, especially my shoes, my diet during the week and during races, my pre- and post- race routines, and many other facets of my approach.

4) I incorporated a discipline in my life that made it clear that running was important

      • I only stayed in Hotels where there was ready access to a healthy breakfast and a suitable workout facility or running path.
      • I got up earlier every day so my running time would not take away from my family time.
      • I told people about my running and what my goals were, partly to increase my accountability, partly to get some cheerleaders on my side!
      • I continue to read books, blogs, articles, etc on running to increase my chances of finding information that will help me achieve my goals faster.

So, I think you get the idea of how I have been intentional about running.  Now I ask you again, are you being intentional about accelerating your career?  The steps are the same as running…

1) Set your long term goals (i.e. I would like to be a CFO by age 32) and hold yourself accountable to making progress.  You might seek assistance from mentors, personal coaches, your boss, and many others.

2) Set your short term goals (i.e. I need to become an expert in financial controls and financial accounting)  and create a detailed plan to attain each goal (attend a class, volunteer for a project or role at work, etc)

3) Track your progress and make adjustments (Your company may have the tools to do this with their performance management system, but probably not.  This is where you can really use the help of a personal coach.)

4) Incorporated a discipline in your life that makes it clear that running was important (allocating time for professional development, actively seeking mentoring, volunteering to do the “dirty work“, etc)

I know, I know; it is far easier sad than done.  I can tell that you after years of coaching the single biggest factor of success for my clients is in their being intentional.  Need help getting there, feel free to contact me!

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