Archive for November, 2009

There’s nothing like the winning feeling of seeing someone you have mentored pay it forward.

November 23, 2009

In racing and business,  I think some people are so focused on getting themselves to the finish or to the top of the corporate ladder, that they forget part of that process requires other people.  And when we include other people in our journey,  it’s more rewarding for everyone involved.

One of my favorite movies is “Pay It Forward.”  I love how the child in the movie has this idea of how to make the world a better place and word of mouth makes his dream a reality.  I have always believed that in racing and in business, we need to pay it forward.  And one of the most rewarding parts of that is seeing or hearing about how someone you mentored,  is returning the favor.  And hopefully, those who benefited will do the same…and so on and so on.

In a previous Lessons from the Road blog, I talked about a woman I mentored in a half marathon named Jan.  She’s a remarkable woman and a great athlete.  She was so grateful for my mentoring during the race that she thanked me profusely.  I told her it was my pleasure and about my philosophy of paying it forward.  That was my way of honoring my mentors.

Not long after we ran the half marathon together, she ran another one and emailed me to tell me that she wanted to pay it forward and honor the lessons I had taught her.  She told me she took two runners in the pace group under her wing.  She also shared that she could have run well ahead of the group and had a better finishing time, but felt it was more important to help the other two runners achieve their finishing goal times, as I did with her and another runner when we ran together.  She closed her email with “Thank you again for showing me that being a competitor isn’t all about my personal goals but can be even more satisfying when I can share success as part of a team.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

In racing and in business, it’s important to do well for yourself and set personal goals. But it’s also important to help those who need a confidence boost, some advice or someone to pace them to help them do their best.

As we continue to go through these challenging economic and business times, it’s more important than ever to pay it forward.  So the next time you see a business professional or athlete looking like they could use some direction, take the time to help them.  Your kindness and efforts will be appreciated and could start your own “pay it forward” movement.