TLP172: You Can’t Fake A Marathon


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By Jan Rutherford and Jim Vaselopulos, Jan Rutherford, Jim Vaselopulos, and Experts on leadership development. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Barry Siff, CEO at USA Team Handball and former President of UA Triathlon, has much to share about leadership from the world of sport, business, and nonprofits. Barry talks about how he became a Senior VP at 25, retired at the age of 42, and received both a BS and Masters without graduating high school. He also discusses what it takes for people to dream big, and how to see challenges as opportunities.

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Key Takeaways

[2:53] Barry retired in 1998 from a Senior VP position at a $7 billion dollar food company. He was only 42, and then decided he wanted to be involved with sports, which led him to the Team USA Handball organization.

[4:07] Barry is quite the endurance athlete. He has run over 60 marathons, the Leadville Trail 100 Mile Run, Expedition Races all over the world and 11 IRONMANs.

[6:52] Staying fit helps with stamina, mental clarity, and energy. Barry sees similar lessons in athletics as business, including the need for leaders to overcome obstacles, and do what’s necessary to get the job done.

[9:09] While the business world mainly focuses on P&L and shareholder values, USA Triathlon is a non profit that also focuses on both the cause and the members.

[20:03] Great leaders know that asking for help empowers others and gives them meaning.

[21:13] People dream big when they have passion.

[23:06] We can retrain our mindset to see challenges as opportunities for learning and growth.

[31:31] The little things, such as intently listening and asking the right questions, really make a difference in leadership.

[35:39] Barry describes Handball as water polo played on a basketball court, and it is an extremely fast and physical game. It is currently very popular in many countries, and projects that it also will be a commonly known sport soon in the United States, and also a participant in the Paris Olympics in 2024.

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Quotable Quotes

  • “It’s all about the goal of having something way, way out there.”
  • “You can’t fake a marathon.”
  • “It doesn’t matter what you are doing, just that you are passionate about it.”

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Facebook: @westudyleaders

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Website: The Leadership Podcast

192 episodes