Change Management Keynote

Change Management Lessons From Some of the World’s Toughest Marathons

Managers are responsible for moving an organization from its current state to a future (and hopefully better) state. Unfortunately, change, especially technology-related changes,  is occurring at a fast rate. However, in order for this change to successfully occur, the people must change. They must become highly self-motivated to overcome their fears in order to execute their tasks in the project schedule. The best laid out plan will fail, if people aren’t motivated. Larry Mizell wrote the lyrics to one of Donald Byrd’s major hits that best describe how some people feel about change, “Change makes you want to hustle [run away].”

Successful marathoners must overcome their mental and physical fears and self-doubt to finish marathons. Sometimes, they must face “The Wall” during the race. Runners hit “The Wall” between 18 to 20 miles of a 26.2-mile marathon. This is when their muscles run out of glycogen. Glycogen fuels for the muscles. After The Wall, the body begs the mind to stop. However, the mind yells at the muscles to keep moving.

Successful marathoners must also deal with The Wall in uncontrollable and unpredictable environments, such as heat, cold, rain, snow, steep hills, and high altitudes. They must mentally overcome all of these obstacles to be successful. They must learn to extend and push through their comfort zone.

Anthony shows how he used the techniques from running over 120 marathons around the world to encourage his teams to embrace change.  He's also completed marathons in each of the 50 States. He had to push past his fear of

  • heights to run on the narrow wall and crumbling rocks on Great Wall of China,
  • sub-freezing temperatures and snow to finish the Antarctica Marathon, and
  • predators on the Kenyan marathon course.

This presentation is based on Anthony's latest book, Running to Leadership: What Finishing 100+ Marathons On All Seven Continents Teaches Us About Success. Click on the image to view the table of continents.