Marathon not sprint

Stories of Excellence: “It’s a marathon, not a sprint.”

by Heather Hughes on May 16, 2013

Gary Rowe

Since winning that 50-yard dash in elementary school, most of my life had been a sprint. I liked to plan ahead so I didn’t lose ground. Go, go, go! The quarterly system at Burton Group fed right into my style. On a regular basis I could demonstrate merit by hitting goals, and get a reward to boot! And, I was always looking for new things to add to the list.

This really wore me out. One day Gary said, “It’s a marathon, not a sprint.” I didn’t quite get it. I guess I thought of life as a series of never-ending sprints, and if anything stood in the way of my hitting that self-designated outcome I’d get very impatient. Gary was not only patient with the process of building Burton Group, he was patient with me and for that I am very grateful.

I still like to move fast, but I have learned to stop along the way and appreciate life and those around me. It took while. I often recall Gary’s advice when I get antsy about this or that, and it gives me some perspective.

Thanks Gary.

Lessons in Excellence, for Leaders and Up and Comers

  • Keep the long view in mind
  • Understand that progression is not always a quick, straight line
  • Pace yourself
  • Enjoy the run


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