1986 and A loud bang from the starting gun and the Commando Log Race begins. We had always planned a super-fast start and we were able to maintain the momentum throughout the race. We wanted to get to the (tight) corner first and knew that by getting into our stride quickly, we would carry the momentum until we had won. I often use my running experiences as an analogy for my work as it helps me explain my approach to life.

1993 at floodlit athletics track on a cold and wet Thursday night and we have been set a tough session. We start with 800m on the track, each lap must be done in 75 seconds, we then move out of the stadium on to a fast 8-mile road run, returning to the track to complete a further 800m in 2minutes 30 seconds. Why are we experiencing this hell? Our coach wants to simulate the National Cross-Country race we will be competing in Leeds soon. The fast 800m segments will ensure we start and finish with momentum. This session was going to help me get comfortable with being uncomfortable.

Related: 30 leadership lessons from 30 years of running and athletics – Leadership in the Raw    

If asked “what has been my greatest fear in both my careers (and my running)” I always respond with “it is the fear of losing my momentum.”

In the mid-1970s I was in a job role where I was bored. I was just turning up and no matter how hard I tried I was not stimulated which sent me down a slippery slope, both mentally and physically. I had lost my momentum and it felt I like I was trudging through quicksand.

I regularly revisit this experience mentally from the far recess of my brain to remind me of how I felt at the time and how difficult it was to recover my momentum, so I do not lose it again. 

So, what is Momentum? It is a driving force gained by the development of a process or course of events. The impetus gained by a moving object – and I was going to be that object.

How do you develop and grow your momentum?

  • Start with small actions and incremental changes. You are looking for quick wins to build your confidence.
  • Develop a sense of urgency in everything you do. A feeling and an attitude that a task must be conducted quickly and with great intensity. We have created this mindset and culture within our company www.dosh.org Engaged colleagues with a sense of urgency can help their companies and co-workers achieve positive, long-lasting change and improvement.
  • A culture of self-discipline and commitment. Self-Discipline is a practice and begins with accepting you will not be perfect every day. What is important though is to turn up ready to go each day. So, what changes am I going to make today?

Related:  The second leadership lesson I learned – Self Discipline – Leadership in the Raw

  • Constantly and consistently having greater goals

Related: Setting 10 Times Goals – Do something Big! – Leadership in the Raw

  • Having passion and intensity for what you do (but first you need to understand your passion and what ignites it) I recently re-engaged with a classic Management & Leadership book I bought over 20 years ago. ‘Good to Great’ by Jim Collins. I was reminded of his ‘Hedgehog Concept’.

“The Hedgehog Concept” is developed in the book Good to Great. A simple, crystalline concept that flows from deep understanding about the intersection of three circles: 1) what you are deeply enthusiastic about, 2) what you can be the best in the world at, and 3) what best drives your economic or resource engine.” Source:  Jim Collins – Concepts – The Hedgehog Concept 

I have adapted this concept to my work – when the circles intersect, it feeds my momentum.


When you understand the “why” behind a particular goal or objective, and more specifically the “why now,” the challenge is to communicate the concept to your colleagues. I find that increasing a sense of urgency around a particular project or goal is much easier when you get peoples’ buy-in on the project from the start. Fostering a feeling of ownership and investment in the project makes an enormous difference for those involved. When your team members feel personal involvement, they are naturally more eager to see it come to fruition. Related:  https://leadershipintheraw.org/2016/01/11/finding-a-why/ 

Five reasons why keeping a momentum has been important to me?

  1. It maintains my competitive edge.
  2. Because I want to be the best version of myself.
  3. I want to achieve as much as possible in the time I have.
  4. When I have momentum new opportunities open up for me.
  5. The alternative can be lethargy – it is super hard to regain your momentum once you have lost it.   Did I mention my work experience in the mid-1970s?

2023 and I am just back from a run. As I near my 67th birthday, my approach to life and work has not changed, certainly when it comes to maintaining my momentum. 

While fast starts to races are beyond me now, I can still manage a fast finish!  I have a goal of (again) finishing first in my age group at our local Park Run (5km). I can only do this if I maintain my momentum.