Lessons from the Tour de France

It is one thing to undertake, but another to finish.

I noticed a coincidence this weekend when I finished my Saturday bike ride.  My odometer clicked past 2,750 miles, which took me a little less than 12 months of riding to accomplish.

What makes this interesting to me is that, on this same weekend, approximately 160 of the world’s best cyclists will have finished riding more than 2,100 miles – in 3 weeks! Now, they don’t have to fit in research projects, focus groups and marketing strategies between their rides, but still…that’s an incredible amount of riding in 21 days.  They rode in the rain, in the heat, up and down mountains, and through frighteningly large crowds.

The courage, dedication and unwavering committment that it takes to finish a race like the Tour de France are lessons we can all take to heart as we manage businesses through the challenges presented by the recession.  Most days can feel like the climbing stages – an uphill battle to the finish line.  Sooner or later we’ll get to the descents, although navigating the switchbacks at breakneck speeds won’t be easy, either.  Until we get to the flats, it will take all the courage, dedication and committment that we can muster to carry on to the finish line.

The economy remains in a “spot of bother,” as  Phil Liggett likes to say.  But I’ll draw on the inspiration I get from watching those guys finish the Tour to press on to the next stage, and the one after that, and the one after that…

And I’ll keep pedaling – and maybe I’ll put in another 2,750 miles by the time they reach the Champs Elysees next year!

~ by chuckmattina on July 26, 2009.

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