New Wisdom of … Series

We are bringing you a new series that will give you unique perspectives from several experts and luminaries. They will share what has made them great or how they must focus or how they choose to overcome obstacles in their different fields. Included after their experiences will be my perspective on what an organizational leader can learn from those insights to better manage or lead their organisation.

Wisdom of a Triathlete

Let’s start the series with the wisdom of the triathlete.

Enrico Varella, a friend and colleague over the years, has participated in triathlons and marathons since 2002. He has completed 23 Ironman triathlons (3.8km swim, 180km cycle, 42.2km run), the Boston Marathon three times, and participated in five world championships. The first race scenario Enrico said to me, “You must learn to ‘Manage what you can control.’” What he meant was as a triathlete all these things are beyond their control, such as bad weather, choppy water, searing heat, jellyfish-stings, bee stings, or falling on slippery roads – but
they still have to carry on. What you must learn he said is “to manage how we respond to each of these challenges, obstacles, or mistakes by managing our emotional responses to them. You have to re-focus, get yourself together, and then just continue. If you are steadfast and resolute in getting to your goals, you will complete the race.”

What We Can Learn from This

As a leader, you must understand the “Rules of the game” within your organization to know what the organization expects of you to manage the inevitable rough business patches, interpersonal or intergroup conflicts, and (hopefully not too often) your own missteps. In the end, you can only control what you can do and not worry about everyone else. So, for your corporate career marathon – you need to manage your emotions, re-focus, get yourself together when things don’t go according to plan and continue steadfastly to move resolutely towards your own goals.

So How Are You Doing This?

What process, checkpoint or date do you use to “re-focus”?

Do you have a mentor you go to for advice?

How do you motivate yourself to resolutely keep going towards your goals?

In the second race scenario, Enrico said to me, “Purposeful Patience, Pays.” There was a race where even when starting in the middle of the pack, he emerged from the sea-swim in 4th place, then rode to 3rd place, and ran to 2nd place and then podium finished. Along the way, several
people ahead of him in each segment of the race dropped off the pace or just simply gave up for different reasons. Throughout the race, he patiently chased the pack down to earn a place among the top three. That enabled him to qualify for the half-Ironman world championships in Lake Taupo, New Zealand in 2020 and the Ironman 70.3 Goa, India, 20 October 2019 – his main goal.

What We Can Learn from This

Sometimes it may seem like you are behind everyone and taking forever to get that promotion, that prized project or your senior leaders’ recognition. So just like Enrico, just because you didn’t get the promotion in your time frame or that recognition, don’t give up or throw in the towel as other people in front of you may drop off their pace or get a “cramp” or just stop from “exhaustion” and when they do – you will be ready. A corporate career is a marathon, you must keep pace with the pack and your chance may be right around the corner!

So How Are You Doing This?

Who is in front of you that you need to keep pace with?

Who should you go to get advice or help to get some fresh ideas?

How do you motivate yourself to stay up with “the front pack” even though you are tired?

In the third race scenario, Enrico said to me, “Stay ahead: hunt or be hunted.” In all the races you participate in, you must focus on staying ahead, completing, and winning. There are hundreds, sometimes thousands, in a race, but there are only a few wanting the same thing as you: a top-three finish. You must be strong, stay focused, and be in the hunt or someone will come from behind and beat you at the finish line. This is where preparation makes the difference. Many races are
won and lost in the last 10 meters.

What We Can Learn from This

There are hundreds if not thousands of people working in an  organization, but only a smaller number who are qualified and focused on getting those prized roles and senior positions. If you are not preparing and putting in the effort in the 5% situations to stand out, then you may lose out. Senior leaders are considering their choices all the time – are you top of their minds, or is it someone else, trying a little harder ahead of you? 2020 should be your year to focus and take those 5% opportunities.

So How Are You Doing This?

What 5% situations are coming up and who will be there?

What do you need to do to prepare for it?

What can you do to stand out in that opportunity?

Included a brief program description below of both our classroom and online programs, that helps individuals become more visible in their organizations:

A high-paced and transformational program filled with practical techniques and skills that you will practice and can apply immediately for these 5 work situations that will determine your visibility in the organization: the 1-on-1 meeting, team meetings, conference calls, business presentations, and company socials. It is here that your
leaders will listen to your next great idea or your points of view on an issue, or just see how comfortable you are interacting informally with them. Increase your communication repertoire, and know how to change your presence and mindset to stand out in these critical “5% situations” with your senior leaders.

To learn more, go to:






 Stephen Krempl

CEO of Krempl Communications International. Facilitator, Author, Global Speaker, and Coach. He has helped thousands of leaders in over 30+ countries through his programs W3 Winning in the Work World and GEM Global Executive Mindset. Both classroom and online programs have helped individuals Stand Out and get noticed in their organizations.