It couldn’t be done. In fact, doctors and scientists said that it was physically impossible for a human being to run a mile in under 4 minutes. And up until May 6, 1954, no human being ever had.
On that day Roger Bannister ran the mile in 3 minutes, 59.4 seconds.
In the following 3 years, 16 other runners went onto achieve the “impossible” feat.
With the exception of our prehistoric brethren racing to keep animals from eating them, why in all of creation had man not run a sub-4-minute mile?
To benchmark is to compare your business metrics and practices to industry leaders.
Who exactly are your industry leaders looking at when they benchmark? The other industry leaders who have yet to break the 4 minute mile?
The result to which aim and effort are directed.
Who is setting goals within your company? Is goal achievement more likely when your coworkers set their goals or when you set them? Where is criteria to set goals derived from?
An ambitious goal with seemingly out-of-reach attainment.
Who is defining “out-of-reach” at your company? Upon what measure are they basing what is out-of-reach?
What prevented modern man from running a sub-4-minute mile? The belief that it couldn’t be done. It’s written that Bannister intended to run a sub-4-minute mile. What holds us back from achieving higher levels of performance are fences within our minds. If we believe that we’re not capable of selling 4,000 service agreements it’s almost certain that we won’t. If we believe that our company is not able to achieve 20% net profit, it won’t. If we believe that our technicians are not capable of delivering world class service, they won’t.
What is your sub-4-minute mile?
Walk out the backdoor of your ranch’s mind and set your site upon the horizon. Without a fence in view, what do you see? Think President Kennedy and his 1960’s moonshot call. Think Roger Bannister and his intent to shatter the 4-minute barrier. Think, whether it’s your company or life, what stretch goal can you set to distance your company and or self, from the herd of never-been-done-before-status-quo?
How much effort should you apply to this quest? Should there be an all out focus on it?
You know how the movie ends for Bannister and the Moonshot. And while we’re not exactly sure how it ended for caveman Bob as he felt the beast’s hot breath upon his neck boot scooting across the Serengeti, we can be darn sure of his effort and focus.
Now, tell us about your sub-4-minute mile.