It's Time to Break Away - Leadership SHIFT Tip
On April 5th, 1992, a twenty-five-year-old Frenchmen made history at the Ronde van Vlaanderen. The bicycle race, as known as the Tour of Flanders, is a grueling, 260km grind across the cobbled roads, steep climbs, and blustery weather of Belgium. It’s a classic.
On that April morning, the little known Jacky Durand broke away with 217 kilometers to go. Jacky was starting to build a reputation of forgoing the comfort of the peloton for the possibilities of the risky breakaway, and this one was his craziest.
And it worked like a charm. With the longest winning breakaway in race history, he became the first Frenchmen to win in thirty-six years. He also became a Belgium darling that day.
“…I’ve always refused to come out of a mold. It astonishes me that most riders are followers, even sheep…I’d rather finish shattered and last having attacked a hundred times than finish 25th without having tried…” -Jacky Durand
Like Durand, you need to take a risk to experience the glory of success. Yes, the status quo feels safer, but in today’s economy, nobody notices vanilla ice cream. Well, unless it’s a $9 artisanal, hand-churned, Madagascar-vanilla cone. We can discuss this in the future Shift Tip.
If you want to become your best and live without regret, it’s time to go all-in, burn those ships, and toss your plan B. Make a commitment and put your full self out there. Make a ruckus!
Yes, it’s scary and hard to break away. The others will encourage you to return to the pack. They may even try to chase you down and judge you.
And if they do, that’s fine. Trust me; you won’t notice them as you hoist your trophy over your head.
Have Fun Storming the Castle!
p.s., For those in NYC/New Jersey, I will be at Pedal Sports in Oakland, NJ on Saturday for a book signing for my memoir, Shift. Please join if you can.
And if you are thinking about breaking away from corporate for an entrepreneurial life, please read my latest article on Medium.
You have to risk It for the biscuit.
- Jimmy Fallon