A Daily Dispatch from the Front Lines of Leadership.


Only Count When It Starts Hurting

How do you know you’re making progress? The gurus tell you to set small milestones, take short steps, measure short-term goals. Long distance runners pick a spot in the next 50 yards and work to get there. Then, they pick another spot.

But when you start counting matters. Muhammad Ali was asked how many sit ups he did to prepare for a fight. His reply: “I don’t count my sit ups. I only start counting when it starts hurting. When I feel pain, that’s when I start counting, because that’s when it really counts.” 

If you chart your progress too early, it looks like you’re making progress when you really aren’t. When you start from zero, three steps look like a mile. It’s the progress you make near the finish line that matters most.

Sign-up Bonus

Enter your email for instant access to our Admired Leadership Field Notes special guide: Fanness™—An Idea That Will Change the Way You Motivate and Inspire Others.

Inspiring others is among the highest callings of great leaders. But could there be anything you don’t know, you haven’t heard, about how to motivate and inspire?

Could there really be a universal principle that the best leaders follow? A framework that you could follow too?

There is.

Everyone who signs up for Admired Leadership Field Notes will get instant access to our special guide that describes a powerful idea we call Fanness™ (including a special 20-minute video that really brings this idea to life).