This week I was touched by an amazing show on Amazon Prime called Skid Row Marathon. This is the story of Craig Mitchell, a Los Angeles criminal court judge. Craig finds a way to make a difference in the lives of people who are in so much trouble they have run out of people and places to turn to.
These are stories of transformation!
Judge Mitchell is frustrated with a perpetual cycle of broken people getting stuck in lives of shame, rejection and crime. He decides he can make a difference… one person at a time. By starting “the running club”, he literally gives people something to run to – rather than away from.
I saw judge Mitchell applying the EOS Five Leadership Abilities™ to make these transformations stick!
Five Leadership Abilities™
Sometimes in a growing business it feels like we’re facing trouble and have nowhere to turn. We call this Hitting the Ceiling. In order to break through a ceiling and get to the next phase of growth, leadership teams develop the ability to do five things.
First, good leaders Simplify. As businesses grow and evolve, there is a tendency for things to get complicated. People follow old processes just because “that’s how we’ve always done it.” To combat this tendency, good leaders are constantly striving to simplify!
In the show, the lives of the troubled individuals were pretty complicated. Often, we see a series of poor decisions and circumstances culminate in complex legal trouble. Judge Craig Mitchell, found a way to “KISS” the situation. He “Kept It Super Simple.” The simple idea was for individuals on probation to commit to start running with “The Running Club”. Over time, those who show commitment and stick with it are rewarded. They get an opportunity to run a marathon in a beautiful foreign city.
In a business, leaders often hit a ceiling because they try to hold on to every responsibility. In order to grow, leaders must delegate things that others can do. This lets them focus on what only they can do. When a leader “elevates” to do more work that they enjoy, it elevates others who get to work on things the leader was holding on to.
Judge Mitchell was pretty hands on in the show. But he did rely on others in The Running Club to support and encourage other club members. He also leaned on others for sponsorship and marathon trip organization that he could not take on himself.
Great business leaders develop the ability to predict – both for the short and long term. For Long term, we predict the key things we must do over the next 90-days to stay on track to achieve the 1-Year plan. We clarify predictions by making our goals “SMART” (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time bound). We also get good at predicting with the leadership team what we’ll do over the next 7 days to resolve short-term issues that arise.
In the movie, the short-term predicting was making a commitment to run with the club in the morning. The long-term predicting was foreseeing how a few quarters of consistent training, along with support from other members of the club, would result in achievement of a sponsored marathon run in a beautiful country.
In a growing business, we must systemize! It is important to implement processes and systems. This makes repeatable things automatic so extraordinary things can be customized.
Judge Mitchell has a system of club member support that enables day-to-day Running Club activity. This enables the judge to have extraordinary interactions with individuals — both on the runs and in supporting them in their individual vocational pursuits.
In a growing business we need to ensure the right organizational structure to deliver value and take the business where we envision it going. We must ensure that the core aspects of any business have the right people in the right seats to lead marketing and sales, operations and finance.
This was not a highly visible part of the documentary presentation, but I could see judge Mitchell in the Visionary, Integrator and Marketing and Sales seats. He had the Vision to make a difference. He knew how to address and engage two key markets – the people he was helping to transform, and the people he was tapping for financial support and sponsorship. As “Integrator, he kept day-to-day running club operations harmoniously connected, but led by trusted running club members. And I’m sure the right people were in Ops and Finance seats to organize marathon trip logistics and financing.
Enjoy watching Skid Row Marathon and get inspired to apply the Five Leadership Abilities™ in your business! Give me a call and I’ll help you and your leadership team apply the 5 Leadership Abilities. We’ll find your Traction Point by clarifying your Vision! Send me a note and I’ll send you a copy of the book Traction. You’ll learn the tools and disciplines that will make your company stronger and take you toward the vision you have for your company!
Be great this week!