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  • Writer's pictureAndrea Nicholas

Leadership Lessons from the Gym


Coaching executives, we often discuss determination and resilience. We draw from examples of gritty business leaders who have excelled despite bitter setbacks, and forged on in the face of extreme pressure and unexpected, sometimes unfair, adversities.


Remarkable sources of inspiration can be found in our everyday lives, too.


Meet Rick (name changed, per his request).


Rick works out at my local gym. Driving to the gym is hard. Walking into the gym is hard. Positioning his forearm crutches and twisting his body to navigate between the equipment is hard. After all that, he lifts, which is hard.


The whole process takes him three to four times longer than it does me. I observe him in awe.


Meanwhile, Rick perseveres cheerfully, mightily. If his gaze falls upon you and you are nearby, he’s going to talk to you. He’s just that friendly. His smile and lightheartedness belie his grit. I like that and him; my fellow gym patrons do too.


There are times when each of us must face hardship and formidable obstacles, in business and in life. Moments that test our mettle, but also give us the gift of strengthening our determination and resilience muscles. It’s a great leader, often inspired by people like Rick and others who have overcome seemingly intolerable circumstances, who seize those opportunities.


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