Two Dozen Basic Management Principles (Pt. 10)

Coach continued: “I tell you what. In the next race I want you to run alongside the race leaders. Stay right at the front. Then, if you feel up to it, you can run as hard as you want the last mile.” A week later, Lopez ran his second meet. This time he did exactly what his coach told him to do. When the gun sounded, he took off but did not break away from the pack. Instead, he paced himself with the leaders. He enjoyed jogging along with them so much that he tried talking to them throughout the entire race. “Hey, guys, my name is Lopez…How long have you been running?….Do you play soccer?” He talked and talked and talked, even though his English was broken. However, the other runners did not answer. The more he tried talking to them, the more they looked at him like he was nuts. Lopez ran along, talking away until he saw his mom and dad standing at the one-mile marker. Coach had told him that they would be there so that he would know when to start running hard. Barbara yelled: “Yea, Joseph, you can do it!” “Hey guys,” Lopez said to the other boys at the front of the pack, “there’s my mom and dad. I gotta go. See you at the finish line.” With that, Lopez stopped jogging and took off running. He won the meet, beating around four hundred runners from across upstate New York. He received his first gold medal and wore it all the way home. The Rogers’ next door neighbors were outside when they pulled up to the house. Tom and Fran were around eighty years old. Tom saw the medal and said: “What do you have there.” Lopez proudly showed off the gold medal while Rob explained that he had beat a field of four hundred runners. “You know, I bet you can run in the Olympics someday for the USA,” Fran said. Those words took Lopez right back to watching Michael Johnson on the black-and-white television. “Yes,” he said. “That is my goal. One day I will run in the Olympics for the USA.” The second New...

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