Leaning vs Bending

Somedays I wear the title of master (age range) athlete, participating in running, cycling, or cross-country skiing events.  In most competitions my goal is to perform my best and inspire others to reach their personal best.  In pushing the edge of performance I find myself dancing near a thin line that separates efficient movement and thrashing contortions.  A combination of physiological ability and practiced technique mesh together as long as possible until I push too far or too fast and then they uncouple and lose all synergy   The closer the pace gets to the tipping point the more I assume an athletic lean to account for momentum and power.  However when I cross the line the tendency is to bend and try to power through whatever obstacle faces me.  Bending equates to a head drop, reduced sight line, hips transferring backwards, shoulders curled over, and the compression of my cardiovascular engine.  Speed and efficiency decline and my performance regresses.

In our own enterprises we have leaning and bending moments.  Pushing the line of what is sustainable until we are forced to bend is common practice among some causes.  In the athletic arena we use intervals and long easy distance sessions to gain speed and build a broader base of fitness.  The same opportunity exists within our organizations.  Little initiatives that do not put the entire organization in peril are initiated.  Building a culture that is based on hope with leaders that check on our progress and seem to care are critical to our performance.  Embracing failure as a necessary part of our lifecycle.  Setting a strategic vision for the future so we know where to align our efforts.

Leaning is remarkable when we find the balance point.  Bending is not fatal, it slows us down and requires a little recovery before we find our stride.  Participating by neither leaning or bending rarely leads to significant results.  Discovering the fulcrum point between a lean and bend is magical.  I hope you have found yours.

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