Turning a Peloton workout into a leadership training ground

Fundamental teachings are found in the most unexpected situations.

It might be anything you read or hear at a café. It could be a podcast, a chance encounter with an Uber driver, or something your kid says that changes how you look at an issue (I’m certain I’ll write a book about all of the things I’ve learned this way)

I’m not sure where it’s from, but I had one of those “unexpected leadership lessons” while riding my Peloton recently. For those who don’t know, Peloton is an indoor cycling bike that allows you to take live and recorded sessions from the comfort (and relative safety) of your own home. While I’ve been a long-time Peloton owner but it was on this particular day on this ride that this learning came to me like a freight train barreling down the track!

But I digress. The leadership lesson came from last week’s class with one of Peloton’s most popular instructors, Matt Wilpers. Matt is well-known for his high-output approach as well as his classes being always full. He is also known for making small changes to your form to produce more output.

On this particular day, Matt was discussing how a posture adjustment on your bike will result in a significant power boost. He advised us to shift our hips just a few inches farther forward on the saddle. It’s an easy fix that yields big results.

After Matt made this suggestion, I shifted my hips a few centimeters forward and I could see the change on the power graph.  At first, this didn’t feel natural or comfortable. I thought about whether or not I should go back to my old form. But I decided to trust Matt and stay in the new position.

A few minutes later, I found myself getting into a groove. The discomfort had dissipated and I was able to increase my power output without feeling like I was working any harder.  I finished the class feeling strong and accomplished.

Top Leadership lessons that are important for all of us to remember

You don’t always have to be comfortable to be successful. In fact, sometimes it’s when you’re outside of your comfort zone that you learn the most and make the biggest strides.

The best leaders are often the ones who are willing to make small adjustments that yield big results.

Trust is essential – both in yourself and in others. When you trust your team, they will be more likely to trust you.

This leadership lesson is one that can be applied in so many different ways. Trust against it. The easy way isn’t always the best way. Sometimes, you have to push yourself outside of your comfort zone to see results.

It occurred to me at that time that this is frequently how we as leaders operate. We are constantly offered chances to make modest improvements that may have a significant impact. But we often hesitate. We doubt ourselves. Worry that it’s not the “right” thing to do.

I’m reminded of this because it’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately as I’ve been working on my own leadership development. I’ve been reading and listening to a lot of content on the topic, and one of the things that have really resonated with me is the importance of always being open to learning and growing. As leaders, we can’t afford to get complacent. We have to be willing to try new things, experiment and fail.

Rinse and Repeat

I’m going to keep in mind the next time I’m on my Peloton – and in all aspects of my life.

What about you? What leadership lessons have you learned from unexpected places? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

The fact is, most of the time, making those modest adjustments is worth it. Making a minor change in how you lead your team may have a huge influence on both your team and your organization

Peloton has made a name for itself as a rapidly expanding and enthusiastic group. I enjoy it. The challenge, intensity, and sense of belongingness are all things that I like about the activity. What I’ve learned is how some of the teachings may be applied to the corporate world.

Many people will tell you that they want to improve their lives or become more productive while working on other things. Others may advise you not to go all-in on one project and instead spread your efforts across numerous areas of your life. Still, others would advocate for setting time aside for creative endeavors like writing fiction again.

If you don’t push yourself, you won’t improve. One of the greatest difficulties and possibilities for a leadership team is to guide a company through change. If we can just encourage our teams just a little bit further than their comfort zones, they may discover abilities that have been hidden from them thus far.

There is no one better placed to tell our brand’s story than you. You have the skills, expertise, and passion for both cycling and tech that we need in order to spin the tale of a century-old bicycle company into an innovative new narrative. Or, as Peloton executives put it, “strength doesn’t come from what you can accomplish;

Showing up

Showing up is one of the most important parts of life both at and outside of work. We must show up for our coworkers, customers, and partners; for our friends and family; and (often neglected) for ourselves.

Being present

isn’t simply about being physically there; it’s also about being emotionally available. Being honest, engaged, and dedicated to your job.

Hard Work

Is Always in Demand. A company’s culture is comparable to a new lawn, and hard work is always required. If you were endowed with the ability to work hard, think intelligently, and accomplish things, your company will eventually develop a strong, long-lasting culture. “Hustle is a gift that never stops giving,’

Clear the word Can’t

One of my mantras is: “Clear your mind of can’t.” We have to get rid of the word “can’t” from our vocabularies and keep the teams focused on their goals, no matter how long or bumpy the route may appear. Courage and confidence are contagious. Leaders at all levels must embody the purpose

A higher goal is almost always a good idea. This reminds me of one of my favorite phrases from the Peloton universe: “remember this effort.” I do what I do because I want to be a part of the family and help drive this truly historic shift forward. And I want to create an atmosphere in which people can perform their finest work

Conclusion

Whether on your bike or in your boardroom, the road from good to exceptional is never-ending. And, like with Peloton workouts, being a great leader necessitates significant effort.

Tell me about a time when you were motivated or given coaching by someone who wasn’t your manager. What are some of your favorite leadership examples? Where was the most unexpected place that you ever received motivation or coaching? I’m looking forward to hearing from you and publishing more Peloton-inspired leadership lessons in the near future.

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