[youtube_sc url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=70UF82nysIU”]

Today, I saw a video clip of Heather Dorniden running in the Big 10 600m track championship. At one point she’s leading the race but she trips and falls with a little less than one lap to go. Now in last place and quarter lap behind she some how finds another gear and kills it.

Total Belief, Total Commitment

Two weeks ago I was listening to Warren Rustand talk about leadership. Warren went on to discuss how leadership is a march down a long road, not always in a straight line, but always directed toward some distant landmark. Finally, leadership involves total belief and commitment.

Later that evening I was talking with fellow entrepreneurs, Lisa Hufford, CEO of Simplicity Consulting and John Chen, CEO of Geoteaming about the presentation. The discussion that we had centered around the video clips that were shown. All of them were sports related and all of them were focused on men. In today’s business world we’re seeing more and more women in CEO positions and major leadership roles. Regardless of whether you’re a man or woman, it’s going to take total belief and total commitment. Exhibiting any thing less than that and you’re not going to be a very good leader. You can tell employees that it’s their job to do something but that’s not leadership, that’s called just being a manager. A true leader is going to inspire people so that they also believe and commit.

As a leader, you could be cruising along in first place, but, inevitably something comes out of left left and knocks you down. It could be something like:


  • Things not going as planned.
  • Not raising as much money to start your company.
  • Personal challenges.
  • Having a key employee quit.

No matter what it is — what are you going to do in those situations? After seeing the video of Heather Dorniden, I’d suggest digging deeper and like Dorniden says in her own words “That last 50 meters, I hit a gear that I never knew I had”.

For more on Heather Dorniden, here’s a great write up about the race.

6 replies
  1. Jeff Baumgarten
    Jeff Baumgarten says:

    Wow Peter, thanks for sharing. Great points about digging deep and the need to pay attention to both genders when it comes to leadership and to sports motivation. 

    This drove me to research a little more about Heather Dorniden. What I found is that it was the raucous support of the home crowd, as well as the direct encouragement of the PA announcer that made her thing she could more than finish…she could win. 

    Good lesson to all of us who are in the position of motivating others to find that gear they didn’t know they had!

    Thanks for sharing this. 

    • Peter Chee
      Peter Chee says:

      Thanks Jeff. Glad you liked the video. I saw this video at church today and I’ve watched it probably a dozen times now. It’s amazing and inspiring. What Heather did went beyond “get up when you fall down”, “never give up”, “just finish the race”. Falling while running has got to hurt. Lose all momentum and have to get back up to full sprint plus chase down the people who are still running is unbelievable. The crazy thing at the end of the video is that she’s not even the one that’s breathing hard… 


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