Episode 13: Run All The Laps, Don’t Cut Corners

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Our results are determined by our choices. When we choose to skip out on the work or cut corners, we are hurting ourselves. We can’t expect to be great if we try to get by with as little as we can.

As a leader, cutting corners and doing the minimum also speaks to our followers – can they trust us? What kind of followers do we attract? Listen to know the laps and to find out more. 

In this episode you’ll hear:

  • Cutting corners and not doing all the laps reflects on you
  • Why leaders shouldn’t cut corners and must run all the laps?
  • As a leader, people will follow your lead

Full Episode Transcript

[00:21]

When I was in high school, I played basketball for one year. I was on the JV team. In practice, in the beginning, usually, Coach asked us to run 25 laps. And if I remember correctly, 25 laps was close to a mile. So every day at practice, we run 25 laps. Then we shoot free throws.

At least once, I think it happened multiple times, Coach asked us to run 100 laps. And usually, he would ask us to run the 100 laps, and then he’d go off and do something he needed to get done, and he’d be back for us when we finished to keep working on practice.

And we would do those hundred laps. We did it on our own. We did our own count, and we were supposed to do a hundred laps. Often people quit early. Usually, it was around the 70-something mark.

When they get to 74, 75, or 76, they would just drop out and start doing their free throws. And in fact, most people did. For me, I felt like I had to do the right thing. I had to run the full 100 laps because, for me, it was like, what does it say about me if I don’t run all the laps?

[01:11]

And my teammates would be trying to control me over like, “Come on, come on, hurry, just finish.” But for me, I felt like I had to finish it. Now, another part about running laps is, of course, in the basketball court, you have the square corners, but you’re running kind of in an oval when you’re running around.

Depending on how you run, you could make your laps shorter by cutting the corners. Depending on how much you wanted to run, you could do a big cut of the corner and still make that circle or that oval, or you could go around the edge and make it more of a hard turn.

[01:47]

Cutting corners and not doing all the laps reflects on you

Now, why do I tell this story? Why do I talk about cutting corners and doing all the laps? As an individual, if you cut corners when you’re pursuing your goals or whatever you may be doing if you avoid running all the laps, you won’t reach greatness. You won’t reach the goal or reach it as well or as fast as you could.

If you want to be great at basketball and you cut corners and you do just part of the laps, you’re not going to be great because there are people out there who are doing all the laps and more, who are making all the shots and more, who aren’t cutting the corners because they are hungry about doing well.

[02:30]

When you cut corners, when you avoid doing all the laps, you’re just hurting yourself. What does it say about you when you do that? Are you someone who can be trusted if you’re someone who doesn’t do all the laps when no one’s watching?

If you really want to be great at what you do, if you really want to succeed, don’t cut corners, don’t skip laps, do more. Do what you’re supposed to do, the best you can, and go that extra round. That will make the difference.

Do what you're supposed to do, the best you can, and go that extra round. ~ Thomas R. Harris Click To Tweet

[03:05]

Why leaders shouldn’t cut corners and must run all the laps?

Now that’s as an individual. What about as a leader? Why does that matter? Well, first, can your people trust you? When you cut corners, when you don’t run all the laps, your people will know and they will notice.

And if they see you lying, if they see you cheating, if they see you cutting corners, that speaks to them about your character. And that speaks to them about their trust towards you and their respect towards you.

Can they really respect you if you’re someone who cuts corners and doesn’t do all the laps? How much level of trust and influence will you have with your people if you do that?

[03:44]

If you lie to someone and your team sees that, they will begin to question, are you lying to them? It’s like having someone who gossips about other people, which I hope you avoid.

But if someone comes to you and they want to gossip, in the back of my mind, I’m thinking if they’re talking or trying to talk negatively about somebody else to me, but I see them being all nice to that person when they’re in person, what are they saying about me to other people?

[04:15]

As a leader, people will follow your lead

You see, as a leader, if they can’t trust you if they see you cutting corners with other people or lying to other people, they’ll wonder if you’re doing it to them as well. Not only that, as a leader, people follow your lead. If you’re someone who cheats, if you’re someone who cuts corners and doesn’t run on the laps, your team is going to follow your lead and they’re going to cut corners.

They’re going to avoid running the laps and that’s going to hurt the integrity of your team. That’s going to hurt your outcomes and it’s not a good thing. Not only that, you attract people like you.

[04:51]

If you are, again, someone who cuts corners and doesn’t run all the laps, those are the kind of people you’re going to attract to your team and organization. I want you to think about that.

What person are you? Are you one who cuts corners? Are you one who avoids the laps, who tries to do as least as possible? Because if you are, it’s going to hurt you.

I encourage you to change. I encourage you to examine yourself and be a person who does the work and even goes above and beyond. That’s the extra mile.

Run the laps, don't cut the corners. ~ Thomas R. Harris Click To Tweet

I’ll see you next time.

Thank you so much for listening to this episode of No More Bad Leaders. If this episode meant something to you, I would be honored if you share it with someone who would benefit from it. You can find more episodes here.

If you have any comments, questions, or inquiries, feel free to contact me.

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