Andy McMenemy

Now I’m reaching the business end of training for my first Ride100 – a 100 mile cycle along the 2012 Olympic route through central London and the Surrey countryside – I’m reaching out for inspiration wherever I can.

So I reflected back on a speaker we had on a recent event, Andy McMenemy. This was a man who, despite a significant Achilles tear in week 2 of his meticulously planned training schedule (and having recently recovered from an Achilles rupture, this level of discomfort and nuisance resonated!), went on to complete 66 ultra marathons in 66 days in 66 cities – unsurprisingly, a Guinness World Record!

So his story was enough to help me to keep climbing out of bed at 6.30am on weekends, but what of the relevance to business?

Andy’s key takeaway was the 3 p’s – Purpose, Persistence, Passion. 

Having originally planned to run 66 marathons, and having started training, he discovered someone else outside the UK was just about to embark on the same. But driven by his purpose – to shift paradigms, moving significantly from any comfort zone and changing the perception of what’s achievable – he researched how to trump this. How often do businesses formulate a vision and plan, set off, and then get thwarted the very next day by the competition. But how often then does success follow when they stick with the primary purpose, pick themselves up and reset the goals and plan?

Then there was the Achilles trouble. Andy spent time consulting with his support team including doctor and physio. Not tackling the challenge wasn’t an option, so what could they do as a collective to mitigate this problem? Alone, Andy was guaranteed to never find the answer – as an engaged, committed, motivated, smart team they could find a way collectively.

Ultimately though it’s about moving from your ‘comfort’ zone to your ‘potential’ zone. Setting much tougher – uncomfortable, not impossible – objectives and then taking the steps to fulfill these and live to your potential. How many stories do you hear of 20 stone couch potatoes completing marathons 2 years later and 6 stone lighter? 

Are you, is your team, is your organization looking to operate in the ‘potential’ zone? Have you engaged everyone around you to help get there? Are you committed, but with a flexible plan?

Writing this has proved motivational for me; hopefully reading it has the same effect for you.