This is the motto of the Mudderella, a 5 – 7 mile obstacle course race created in 2013 by Christina DeVito, former Chief Strategy Officer for Tough Mudder. The Mudderella was designed by women to help women realize they are stronger, mentally and phyically, then they realize. The Tough Mudder, created in 2010, is a 10-12 mile obstacle course “designed to test physical strength and mental grit.” There’s even a Froot Shoot Mini Mudder for kids ages 7 – 12. All of these events are about teamwork and camaraderie. They are about helping the person next to you get through that obstacle, not about who finishes first. They are “about knowing what strong means for you–and owning it.”
So why am I sharing all of this with you? What does a muddy obstacle course have to do with leadership and the work of Trueness?
Actually – quite a lot!
Let’s engage in some divergent thinking and explore…
I was introduced to these events last year by a colleague who has participated in the Tough Mudder for about 2 years now. The initial draw for me was to support Mike as he completed the Chicago event in May of this year. The event was close to home so I thought it would be good to cheer for him. Then he told me about the Mini Mudder and I knew my 10 year old daughter would probably love it! And she did!
In September, we traveled to Wisconsin for another Mudder. Through all of this, I watched Mike, my daughter, and my husband, challenge themselves by participating in these events. They proved to themselves that they had the physical and mental ability to succeed. Seeing this has been an inspiration!
The leadership Mike provides isn’t just about completing a muddy obstacle course. It’s even more valuable. You see he leads with “influence through presence,” as Jeff mentioned in the previous post. Mike’s strength of character, discipline, and focus on self-improvement has a way of inspiring those around him, whether he realizes it or not. As we know, being a leader isn’t about a title or power over others. It’s about the presence you have that inspires others to CHOOSE to follow. And when you make the time to invest in yourself, you GIVE to others the best of you.
Work harder on yourself than you do on your job.”
These words seem to be echoed in many ways around me. Due to a recent change, a good friend gave me a simple, yet powerful book by Patrick Lindsay, Make the Most of You – 170 ways to be the best you can. The simple advice provided on the inside jacket sings of leadership and trueness, investing in yourself so that you may give to others.
“The most important changes generally don’t come from the big things that happen to us; it’s the small things that really transform our lives – small things that have surprising, powerful ripple effects that go far beyond our expectations.”
In a world of constant change, embracing the small things can make all the difference. I know the ripple effects of the leadership Mike provides are still being felt. His strength inspires the strength of others. And his potential will find a way to unleash the potential of others.
So as you think about your trueness as a leader, remember the advice shared by Patrick Lindsay,
- Leave everything a little better than you found it;
- Wear your scars proudly;
- Unleash your own song.
Invest in yourself – Gather. Embrace your trueness – Give.
Own Your Strong! – Grow!
Mudderella, here I come!
All that Jennifer does is driven by a commitment to help you look inside and identify your passions and strengths. Jennifer is a practitioner and consultant for organizational effectiveness.
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