Human Endurance and Leadership

by Sean Foster | March 04, 2021 | Newsletter

It is difficult to fully describe what we as business owners, and humanity in general are going through right now. The market is so uncertain yet continues to steam ahead. There is so much misinformation being said, yet the next steps seem so logical. This environment makes it extremely difficult to forecast or to be too ambitious with future ambitions, yet now is exactly the best time to do so.

There is a message in this NewsBrief, but let’s put some more context around ‘us’. I recall when back in my late teens doing my military service. We had the 2.4km that we had to do every morning. You get woken around 4.30am after 2 hours of sleep, dress up with full gear and you had to run your heart out on the 2.4km course. The trick was that every morning your time had to be better than the day before, even though you were completely exhausted. What happened is that your times really did improve – significantly.

A week ago, I dropped my son off at Cape Reinga to start the Tour Aotearoa. Over 2 to 3 weeks hundreds of cyclists ride down to the bluff (3000km). As you track and watch their progress, you appreciate that the level of human endurance is absolutely astounding. I was equally shocked to see the average age seemed to about 50 and I am sure one of the cyclists was way into his 70’s.

Business is all about people: it is you, your employees, your suppliers, your customers. If you want to create something great then you need to plant these seeds of greatness, nurture the greatness in the early stages to ensure that everyone believes in the possibility of the impossible. Confidence in the future needs to ooze from your very being – it is contagious. 

So here is the home truth. As a business owner you may be saying: ‘yeah that’s us, this is exactly what we aspire to/do. 

Sad truth is that seldom do I see this. Mostly what I witness is the pursuit in keeping up with the grindInstead, as a business owner you need to lead: lead by example, lead by creating an environment of trust, openness and safety, lead by expecting and stipulating high performance, and most importantly lead by taking the bold action of ensuring you have no ‘bad apples’ on board. 

Summary: For short periods the level of human endurance is phenomenal. Tap into this when required: do not let victim thinking cloud your actions, do it tough and stick it out. But modern life is not only about your grit and stamina. To gain long-term performance be a leader! 


If you would like to become a better leader in your company then consider starting off with a full DISC or Selector assessment, from there we have a better understanding of what building blocks to work on.