What We Can Learn From Running a Shoe Company

As a longtime fan of Brooks running shoes, I was looking forward to reading Brooks Running CEO Jim Weber‘s new book Running with Purpose, where he reflects on his career and the six leadership principles he has picked up along the way.

I will not spoil the (entire) book here, but I will share two of Jim’s leadership principles from the perspective of my work with organizations looking to adopt New Ways of Working.

Jim’s fourth principle: Vision without execution is hallucination.

When I introduce New Ways of Working to organizations, I stress the importance of both a vision and execution. You need to know where you are going and why you are going there. You also need to experiment early and continuously to learn how to get there. Introducing new ways of working is a complex problem and can only be solved by testing hypotheses and adjusting the course based on experience.

Jim’s sixth principle: The ultimate advantage is a strong culture.

A strong culture is also the only advantage you cannot copy/paste. Many organizations have tried to copy/paste X-framework (insert your favorite framework of choice; Scrum, Spotify, etc.) without getting the expected benefits. This is typically due to friction between the existing culture and the value system on which the frameworks are built. And just for the record, I know that Spotify is not a model or a framework, but many treat it as such, which is part of the challenge.

Want to know more?

I highly recommend it to any leader interested in knowing more about how Jim turned Brooks into one of the most successful Running Performance companies. The book is an easy read (or listen – I found myself listening to most of the book wearing Brooks running shoes). And you don’t have to be a runner to enjoy it. The book is, first and foremost, a business/leadership book.

You can find out more about the book at Brooks’s website: https://lnkd.in/ewRz764R

If you have already read the book, please let me know what you think. Am I biased because I am a runner, or is it generally worth a read?

See you out on the roads and trails!

Image credit: Me in a pair of my favorite Brooks running shoes.

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