I’ve been watching a team underperform for months.

When the team assembled in the preseason, the manager proclaimed “championship or bust.” The pundits marveled at their skill and the depth of the talent.  And the players looked around at how awesome they all were.

Then “or bust” happened.

Medals and profits are awarded on performance not paper.

  • Have a fantastic product?  You still have to sell it to the customer.
  • Write eloquently? You still have to put out great content.
  • Great at sales ? You still have to convince your prospects to pick you.
  • Have an inside track for new business? You still have to write a persuasive proposal.

I call this the 8-mile rule.

When I was training for my first marathon, our Saturday long runs ramped up to 18, 20, 23, and 26 miles (about 29, 32, 37, and 42 km). Between long runs, the group got together to run a weekly 8-miler. It was “just 8 miles.” And it was always miserable.

We forgot that 8 miles is still a lot of running. The team forgot that it still had to grind out 162 games.

You have to be prepared to go the distance. Because work doesn’t drop in your lap and great customer service is hard work. Because if you get out of practice, your business suffers.

Photo by Sean Loyless (Flickr).