Every year our team runs a 100-mile relay race through North Georgia (for charity). Along the way, we learn a lot about ourselves and a lot about each other.
Back in October, I wrote a blog post about why our team does hard stuff together. I wrote that post because our team has a standing tradition of doing things like over-night ruck hikes and 100-mile relay races a couple of times a year.
From an outsider’s perspective, that probably sounds crazy, but that shared adversity brings us together. That unity translates to deeper relationships, better employee retention, and better client service.
Back in October, we did it again. We finished our second annual General 100. We ran 100-miles in just over 17-and-half hours. Here are a few of the things I learned about along the way.
Three Things I Learned Running 100 Miles with a Team of Strange Renegades
People Should Do Hard Stuff More Often
For office dwellers, life is pretty easy for the most part. We have the occasional deadline or busy season, but most people aren’t physically exhausted, hungry, thirsty, or uncomfortable very often.
I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, but there is something special about pushing yourself from time to time. I know we see this on our team.
There is typically a lull at about 6 a.m. during the race. We are six hours into the race, already exhausted, and the realization that we have about 12 hours left in a cramped RV can be pretty disheartening. Then the sun rises, we grab a hot breakfast and a good cup of coffee, a few teammates finish up their legs, and we catch our second wind.
When our team crosses the finish line, some exhilaration hits. We’re excited we finished and get to go home, proud of what we accomplished, and we have stories to tell for the next year.
If our people remember one thing about their time at risk3sixty, it will be running 100 miles together. If I bump into a teammate at the grocery store or PTA meeting in 10 years, I’ll bet we talk about “that time we ran 100 miles”.
You don’t get memories like that from sitting in the office all day.
Get Each Other’s Backs
One of our team members (our Director of Security/Privacy Research, Philip Brudney) is an avid runner. He’s a quiet guy that comes alive when it comes to running up big hills at long distances. As a result, he decided that he wanted to take on three high-elevation legs back to back – about 18 miles with elevation gain.
During his run, it started raining. It rained for two hours without stopping. We decided to meet him at a 10-mile post to check-in. When Phil came into view the entire team rallied, handed out a pep talk, gave him the jacket off their back to warm up, and the energy he needed to finish the back half of his stretch.
Watching a group of people rally around a teammate is a beautiful thing. We wanted Phil to succeed in something he loves. You must get each other’s back when times are tough.
Row in the Same Direction
I love working with a tight-knit team. I think it makes good business sense and makes work-life more meaningful. One of my favorite quotes comes from Patrick Lencioni:
“The single greatest advantage any company can achieve is organizational health. Yet it is ignored by most leaders even though it is simple, free, and available to anyone who wants it. Not finance. Not strategy. Not technology. It is teamwork that remains the ultimate competitive advantage, both because it is so powerful and so rare. If you could get all the people in an organization rowing in the same direction, you could dominate any industry, in any market, against any competition, at any time.”
When people ask what makes risk3sixty special, I always say it’s our team. That sounds cliché because it is an answer any business leader would give – it’s just good press.
But when I think about our team, I think about a team that runs 100 miles together – voluntarily – year over year. I think about our office banter, about a team that knows what’s going on in each other’s lives, a team that isn’t afraid to ask for (and give) help, and ultimately believes in each other and wants each other to succeed.
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Let’s Get Started
Hopefully, you are reading this blog post because you are interested in working with risk3sixty as a potential team member or as a client. If that’s the case – please send us an email or fill out a contact form. We usually respond the same day!
Questions about policies or compliance and where to start? Contact us here! We’d love to chat with you and see how risk3sixty can meet your organization’s needs.
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