Why running a marathon makes more business sense than you might think

July 14, 2015 3:01 pm
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Resilient, determined and goal-focussed. Who wouldn’t want to hire someone with those qualities?

When someone has looked their darkest hour in the face and carried on regardless of pain and suffering – then, they’re probably the kind of person you might like to work with. Success over a marathon race looks a lot like success in consultancy, or business in general – it takes determination, resilience and an incredible passion to drive towards a goal despite adversity. There are admittedly fewer blisters sustained in the workplace, but the analogy stands pretty strong. Who doesn’t want someone by their side who can go the extra mile?

A recent study of 1,500 companies found that having a CEO who had run a marathon in the past year was associated with improved firm value to the tune of a whopping 5%. When CEOs with the most stressful roles were compared, this effect rose to 8-10%. The study attributed this effect to “positive impact of fitness on cognitive functions, performance and stress coping” – all strengths I’d love to see in a boss or a colleague.
At Coriolis we’ve got a disproportionate number of marathoners in our team, considering that only 1% of the population has completed the distance. I was bumped into company-wide Bronze Medal holder a couple of months ago by my manager’s great showing at the Virgin Money London Marathon. True to form though, this hasn’t made me frustrated or annoyed, just more determined to train hard and get faster for my next race.
So if you’re looking for a starting point, look to the bottom of the CV under “Other Interests” to really find out about your candidate. Then obviously check Strava to make sure they’re slower than you…

Written by Bibi Rodgers, Management Consultant at Coriolis Ltd and (unsurprisingly) a marathon runner. In her spare time, Bibi blogs about the latter at www.veggierunners.com