Developing Self

Late 2012, I came to the realisation that effective leaders have four key characteristics:

  • They have a strong sense of who they are;
  • Have awareness of their impact on other people;
  • Seek continual feedback &
  • Can effectively managing their inner or personal life.

It was the last two points that I needed to work on. So I decided to set some goals for 2013. I had never been big on setting goals and I wasn’t very good at receiving feedback – positive, negative, constructive or otherwise. I was generally of the attitude “let’s just see what happens.”

I tied the laces and started running. My first attempt at 10k was in January of this year and I ran 53min25sec. After that nearly killed me I decided to purchase a GPS watch, aim high and set a goal of running a 5K under 20 minutes & a 10k under 40 minutes by the end of 2013.

Even though there was a 3 month layoff due to injury I have recently completed my goal. See my PR’s below (taken from Garmin Connect.)

Screen Shot 2013-11-07 at 11.21.16 AM

Generally I like the idea of running by feel and perceived exertion, but having a GPS watch added real value to my training. The feedback provided is in real time, formative, targeted, & specific. Also being able to share and compare your data with other runners online is a great motivator. 

I can imagine that those who talk of learning analytics imagine a future for education like runners currently have with real time statistics such as distance, time, splits, heart rate, averages, pace, speed, elevation gain/loss, cadence etc. Whilst that future remains to be seen, Hattie & Timperley in The Power of Feedback provide 3 simple questions that can frame effective feedback, namely:

  • Where am I going?
  • How am I going?
  • Where to next?

This year I have learnt to seek constant feedback & to slow down & listen – listen to other people, listen to your body and listen to your environment. It’s not easy – for instance next time you are in a conversation with someone pause mid-conversation and ask yourself, “Have I been really listening, or am I just formulating in my own mind what I am going to say next?”

We all have blind spots that impact the way we interact with others. Feedback can breathe new life into your professional and personal life if you can have the self-awareness to separate yourself from your role(s) and not take things too personally.

Where to next? Great Ocean Road Marathon, May 2014 & then the Surf Coast 100, September 2014.

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