You Can Only Move as Fast as Who's In Front of You
Tom Hogue December 2014
This phrase from one of my favorite songs not only pumps me up when I’m lifting weights during a morning workout, before a long day at work, but also serves in many ways as my life’s motto.
As my character has developed in sports, business and my career, I have always subconsciously sought mentors who were great in those particular areas. I would wrestle against the toughest practice partners, often even wrestling in higher weight classes. I would fight brown belts as a green belt, and fight the black belts as a brown belt. And in business, I sought the advice of those who succeeded before me and were doing it right in their industry.
I may have started as a network administrator, but I had my eyes on the more senior level engineers and project managers. As a project manager, I sought certifications of those higher than I on the food chain. And now that I’m a business owner, I continue to seek mentors in the industry who have succeeded before me that I can learn from, and achieve even higher results.
In all cases, I find that I end up learning from those ahead of me, while having an eye on passing them in some way. It is how I challenge myself to become better than I am today.
I think this sentence spurs me to action on behalf of my talented team that counts on me. I remind myself that they can only move as fast as who’s in front of them. And that is me. If I am resting on my laurels I’m not performing. This will slow down those who follow me. I must be a good example for them.
My team will do one of two things. They will stagnate and follow slowly as I rest on my laurels and relax. Or worse yet, they may go to work for an employer and team leader who is motivated to achieve greater results. As driven as these people are around me, I would suspect they will go for option two and I will lose them. Either way, I must not be the thing that slows down my company.
So it is full steam ahead!
After all, you can only move as fast as who’s in front of you.