If you’re going to Run…Run to Win

Brian White

“My time is well balanced and focus comes naturally to me,” said no business owner ever! Similarly, I have yet to come across a team that would say they rarely put out fires and instead spends all of their time completing important tasks. But there is a way to get off the hamster wheel, step out of the whirlwind and make every step forward count!


I was recently preparing to share an overview of EOS (the Entrepreneurial Operating System) with a group of business leaders and owners at a local church when I rediscovered this passage in 1 Corinthians 9:24 . Paraphrasing… 


All runners in a race run, but only one wins – so run to win!


Do you ever feel that you’re running in a race you can’t win or shouldn’t win? Or perhaps you’ve even forgotten what winning looks like. Most people I connect with are so busy spinning plates that they don’t have the luxury of stopping to consider why each plate is spinning or when the effort will ever pay off. Despite all of the technology, all of the knowledge, all of the improvements we consistently find ourselves running in such a way that we cross the fatigue line instead of the finish line.


This imperfect leader has certainly suffered from running in races I shouldn’t have. I commonly find myself running in races that do nothing but make me feel good about myself. Races where there is some shiny object at the end which isn’t a prized trophy but instead a costly distraction. And often I find myself pulling out of a more meaningful team relay race so that I can just run by myself. If this running analogy relates in any way then I offer three insights to help you run in races you can and will win.


1. Finish Line – Even the youngest of athletes know where the finish line is. Is there a specific, measurable or well-defined target for your project, goal or overall business? If not where are you running to? In EOS we use the Vision Traction Organizer ( V/TO ) to help us know where we’re headed. Specifically, we define a 10-year target and 3-year picture to help ensure that we know it when we cross the finish line.

2. Rhythm – More advanced runners know every step along the route. Some even train with a metronomic aid. Have you considered the optimum path? Are there timed gates indicating whether you are in front or behind? Why be surprised at the finish line thinking you gave a winning effort only to find out you came in last place? The EOS V/TO further takes your long-term vision down to the ground and establishes yearly and quarterly gates to help us check-in and refocus along our way to the finish.

3. Hurdles – Are you prone to a particular injury, like runner’s knee? Is there a tricky section of the course that requires special attention? Most Olympic-level athletes have considered all of the obstacles, barriers, and imperfection in both the racing environment and within themselves. They’ve also reviewed ideas, opportunities and they know their competition. Do you have a list of issues that stand in your way of reaching the finish line first? The last section of the EOS V/TO is a simple list of issues that once stated, can be solved and left permanently in the past. 


These three considerations of truly great runners lead us to this imperfect insight…

Running hard may look good to others in the moment but trophies are hoisted by those with the best awareness, preparation, and training not the most effort.

In 2018 do you have a well-defined finish line? Have you considered where you need to be each quarter to cross that line confidently at the end of the year? And finally, is your culture open and honest enough to list all of the hurdles you need to traverse along the way? You can’t solve them if you don’t know them.


All businesses operate, but not all succeed – operate in such a way that you’ll succeed!

A System to Safeguard us from our imperfections…

EOS is designed to help you simplify, clarify and achieve our vision. Our Vision Traction Organizer is one of the most practical tools you can use to get everyone aligned and rowing in the same direction. You will get there faster if everyone in your organization knows where they are going and how to get there.


The Entrepreneurial Operating system is designed to help owners get more from their business. Trust the system that has been used by over 40,000 businesses to help build value despite vulnerabilities.


EOS is Real. Simple. Results.


Ready to share what’s holding you back? Email me for a free consultation at brian.white@whitestoneagent.com  or call me at 717.502.2084.