Don’t Be Derailed

During Sunday’s Austin Marathon, a participant dramatically crawled to the finish line to complete her race.

Hyvon Ngetich, a 29 year-old runner from Kenya, led the women’s elite race for the majority of the 26.2 mile race. However, with the finish line in sight, she collapsed. Her body literally hit a wall and she was unable to continue to run.

She was offered a wheelchair and declined. She was offered medical assistance and declined. In a marathon, if you are assisted at all, then you would be disqualified. Instead, Ms. Ngetich crawled on her hands and knees to the finish line.

As you can see from this video, she shows fierce determination with every movement of her body as she slowly gets closer and closer to the finish. With an outstanding amount of effort, Ms. Ngetich finished third in the women’s marathon – a focused and determined runner.


CC Image courtesy of Hans-Jörg Aleff on Flickr

It is during the trying times in our communities that leaders also show this unending focus and determination. An issue, such as a major development project or the annual budget approval, can bring unexpected obstacles at the end of a long review process. It does not matter how many times a leader has checked in with the community or the elected officials along the way; an obstacle at the end can completely derail the entire process.

But, when an obstacle presents itself, do not give up on crossing the finish line (Tweet This). You just may need to adjust your method of reaching the finish line. Perhaps, you need to explore some public engagement opportunities to reach to the crux of the conflict. Perhaps, you need to ask that the issue be sent to an advisory committee for further review by different perspectives from the community. Or, perhaps, the issue should be tabled until a different time in the life of the city.

For whatever issue is presenting an obstacle in your community, focus your attention on the finish line and how you can get there. Then, with unending determination, crawl your community to the finish. As a leader, it does not matter that you finished first or third, it matters that you finished – with focus and determination.


Written by:
Katie Corder
Executive Search Manager

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