Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Client Service And The Marathon

Yesterday, I began training for what I hope will be the completion of my 14th marathon in late October. The twist here is that this year's Marine Corps Marathon will be my first in five years. I've run Boston (2), New York (2), Chicago (3), Disney (2), Pittsburgh (2), Grandma's Marathon in Duluth, and the Rock 'n Roll Marathon in San Diego. But that's all in the past. I've been through the rigor of the 18 weeks of training enough times to know that at 48, I'll be less worried about speed and more focused on simply staying injury free.

So what does long distance running have to do with client service? Plenty. Over the next 18 weeks, I look forward to providing some updates on my training and pointing out some key parallels with client service excellence.

The first of which is most of us have known how to run for as long as we can remember. We all think we know how to service clients. But through practice and education, we can become more efficient runners and deliver even better client service. Let the training continue!


  1. Good luck with the training. I'm taking at least a year off from marathoning. I'm like you, it's the experience and not the speed that matters.

  2. As a five-time marathoner (San Diego twice, Chicago, and Arizona twice), I've witnessed many long-distance leadership lessons, a few of which include:

    Friction hurts. The best way to get rid of things that rub you the wrong way is prevent them from happening.

    Refuel and rehydrate. As you expend energy, figure out what you need to replenish what you’ve lost.

    Bad stuff stinks. Sometimes you can’t escape the smells of things gone bad. Hold your breath and run away as fast as you can.

    Map your course. If you don’t know where you’re going, how will you know when you get there?

    Enjoy yourself. The finish line is closer than you think.

  3. Terry and Angie, thanks for the good comments and the good luck! I'm sure I'll draw upon both during the training.



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