Are you a runner? This is a question I’ve been asking myself a lot lately.
Over a week after running my last half marathon, my body is still recovering, so I think I can truthfully say I’m not great at the physical act of running.
However, in Ron Clark’s interview on Building a Storybrand Podcast, Ron brings a new definition to the table. According to Clark, founder of the Ron Clark Academy, in an organization you have 4 types of employees. He said to imagine that your organization is a bus (think Flintstone bus where there is no floor and all passengers use their feet to peddle). On your bus are all of your employees and how fast your organization/bus moves depends on how hard your employees move their feet (so to speak).
The four types of passengers then are:
Riders – those who are sitting on the bus and making it harder for everyone else to move the bus
Walkers – those who contribute but contribute very little
Joggers – those who work hard but do so for recognition and who talk A LOT (these are the employees who work but also stir up trouble, who see a problem and rather than fix it want to talk about it for hours first)
Runners – those who work hard for the organization because they love the organization. They work hard, not only for credit but because they love what they do
If I asked you who you should spend the most time on (riders, walker, joggers or runners), who would you say?
I initially thought the riders, help them find a passion for their work, build them up, etc. However, according to Clark you want to focus the best of your attention on the runners.
The reason for this is because your runners are your most valuable team members and because people who want to improve within an organization will be drawn to the attention.
I was skeptical of this until I went to a yoga class. There is an instructor named Barry, who teaches all of the Vinyasa classes at my studio. Barry seems to genuinely get pleasure out of causing his students pain. I've only been to a few of his classes, but I've always left drenched in sweat and a little pissed off, not because of the sweat but because he only gives instruction to the students in his first row.
I was contemplating giving him a bad review on Yelp (it would have read something like, needs to be more attentive to all students not just those with 6 packs visible to the naked eye), but then I thought of the Ron Clark Academy.
Barry knew these students by name, they had bodies that showed serious dedication and they were all capable of doing intense poses, which means they show up on a consistent basis for Barry's class. I on the other hand show up sporadically, maybe once a month to his particular class, why should he invest his time with me instead of the students who are clearly invested in him?
I left that day understanding that if I wanted the attention of the teacher I needed to be a better student, I needed to show up on a consistent basis and I needed to leave the back row of the studio
To be clear, I haven't done any of those things, but I also never wrote a negative review.
My question to you is, are you a runner? Do you wake up and work hard for your goals, for your company, for your dreams? Do you do hard things not because you want attention or credit but because hard things need done? Do you find solutions or do you fixate on problems?
If I'm honest I think I'm solidly in a jogger column these days but I'm working every day to be a little more like a runner.
For more on Ron Clark and to listen to his interview on the Building a Storybrand Podcast click here.