What exactly does 45kms look like anyway?

When you have no concept of what a thing really is, it’s surprising how often we allow ourselves to fall into the planning fallacy – or in Australian the trap of ‘she’ll be right mate’.

So as a mainly-sedentary office worker carrying an extra 20kgs and 5yrs over my team-mates I went ‘she’ll be right’ and blithely signed up for Coastrek on 26 May.

Training sessions have been fascinating – they have reinforced for me how important it is to understand the mental processes that each person in a team goes through when they prepare to meet a challenge.  It’s an important lesson for all of us – and especially for leaders.

My walking team is a classic example.  On my team:

  • Hardcore: this walker low balls her expectations for the entire week ahead.  “I doubt I’ll make it all the way” is her version of psyching herself up.  Anyone who can walk 30kms straight after a bought of COVID can do anything in my opinion.
  • Pacer: this lady is rapido.  Her attitude is ‘let’s get this done so we can get on with our weekend’. When we’re walking for a few hours she’s an inspiration. When we’re walking for 10 she’s terrifying.  But she keeps us moving simply by looking at her watch!
  • Stoic: dealing with tragedy, injury and business issues without a single ‘poor me’, this walker just gets on with it.  She accepts difficulty as part of the journey and simply keeps putting one foot in front of the other without any fuss. The quiet achiever, and a superhuman.

They’re amazing.  I have so much respect for each individual and so much respect for how we work as a team.  

But we have only walked 66% of the course to date.  The big test is still to come.

  • How will each person psych themselves up for it I wonder?
  • How will we each be behaving when the distance and the time starts to get to us?
  • Will we continue to play to our strengths or will they get overplayed – will we start to become intolerant of the very things we prize about each other?

When we apply this to work teams, it’s worth remembering these observations –

  • How people psych themselves up is their process – one person’s negative self-talk is another person’s high performance formula.
  • How do you make sure you play to their strengths? 
  • Which strengths will overplay under stress and how will you counter that?
  • What role will you play in the team dynamic?

And what’s my ‘persona’ in all this?  I have no idea, I’m too busy wondering if a hamstring can actually detach mid-walk and when I’m going to lose a toenail.  To find out the answer to these questions, you can become a sponsor and I’ll update you after the walk.


Rebecca is Australia’s pre-eminent advocate for B-suite leadership – the expert in developing hi-impact B-Suite leadership at both a team and individual level.

Speak to Rebecca about:

                        • Individual and group coaching
                        • Team effectiveness and training
                        • People & Culture Advisory


You can reach her on rebecca@boldhr.com

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