Oleg Konovalov

Besides being a brilliant business mind, my mentee and friend, Artem Karasev is a marathon runner. I asked him how long it takes to fully realise what he’s accomplished after crossing the finish line. He said the physical sensation comes within a few hours but the mental realisation comes much later, taking days or even weeks. Artem noted that running with a friend helps him finish as much as 15 minutes faster. The presence and support of his partner during the run increases his energy and doubles the excitement and the sense of accomplishment.

The same happens in the workplace. As my friend Stuart, a Head of Sales said – “I need that feeling that what I had done is important for my company and my team, and feeling capable of doing such great work regularly. Otherwise, I assume I was doing something worthless with a lot of effort.”

Actually, I have the same experience after finishing writing a new book, a full understanding that I achieved an important milestone comes even after the book is published, maybe a month or two later.

There is always a time-lag between the physical fact of achievement and full mental realization of it. This time-lag reflects a difference between being potentially capable and being really efficient in utilising the capabilities that have been developed. Essentially, you have just proven you are capable of more, even though you don’t yet realise it. It is a kind of involuntary procrastination.

The shorter this gap the faster our pace to the next achievement. This pace is very important in leadership.

It is easy to say and we often hear this – let’s move to the next level of success. Immediately, a number of questions pile up – Who will support me? Who will give me water during this marathon? Who will meet me at the finish line?

In other words – How to reduce this time-lag and help people to get to a higher professional level quicker? This is the task of the true leader. To be the support, the coach, the cheerleader.

A DIY (do-it-yourself) approach doesn’t work as a winner or achiever is not a standalone warrior. We all need support. We need the support of colleagues and friends merged into a successful team. Colleagues should be primary stakeholders in the team’s achievements, supporting it at every stage.

This issue should be addressed to corporate culture and to the phenomenon of shared affection and support in particular. Everyone needs support during a race, to maintain confidence in their ability to complete the distance, and share in the celebration when the goal is achieved.

The power of positive support and emotions is enormous and incredibly important in making winners. How have you helped your colleagues to realise their achievements and become winners?