Thursday, February 13, 2014

Guest Blogger: Gordon Tredgold, Author of Leadership: It’s a Marathon Not a Sprint

Leadership: It’s a Marathon not Sprint, is a pragmatic Leadership guide, explaining leadership principles in an easy to use, easy to understand and more importantly easy implement style.

The book is split into 26 chapters, one for each mile of the marathon. In each chapter i explain a leadership principle in detail, provide examples of that principle being used in a business context, then each chapter concludes with how that principle was applied to my running goal of running my first Marathon at the age of 52.

This book will be of interest to existing leaders and people looking to move into leadership.

Clear, straightforward advice bases on the principles of Simplicity, Transparency and Focus.

Passion and Structure
by Gordon Tredgold

It had always been a dream of mine to write a book, but to be honest I had always thought of this as a daunting task and I wasn’t exactly sure where to start.

So after a few days and weeks of staring at a blank sheet of paper I decided to change my approach.

I decided to begin by starting a blog. I’d write a few things, each and every day, and try to get a feel for it. Would I enjoy writing? Did I have something to say? And, perhaps most importantly, would anyone else actually be interested?

I named my blog Leadership Principles and dedicated myself to short articles on leadership, writing 300-400 words each day. Each article I tried to write as a chapter summary on a particular leadership topic, such as Reward and Recognition, or on Setting Goals. I thought that when I had around 20 or so of these posts they would form the basis of the book and I would look to flesh them out a little more to create my book.

A month or so after I started the blog, a good friend of mine began chemotherapy. Something ignited within me. This was the seventh person I knew who had recently undergone cancer treatment. One of my friends, Tanya, contacted me to let me know that her treatment was unsuccessful and that she was dismissing any further medical procedures.

I was so devastated and saddened by all of this news. I wanted to do something. But I didn’t know what? I just knew I wanted to support it?

So I decided I’d try and raise money for cancer charity by running a marathon.

I’d never wanted to run a marathon. In fact, one of the things I was most staunchly opposed to in my lifetime was competing in a marathon!

Perhaps for that very reason, then, it occurred to me that it was probably the best thing that I could do. My friends had been plunged into circumstances they’d never wished for, and they were fighting and prevailing. The least I could do was show some solidarity.

As I began my marathon training, I noticed how much my two recent new endeavors—running and writing—correlated.

Many of the leadership principles I shared on my blog were things that I was applying to myself during my marathon training.

This is where I got the idea for the structure of the book, I would look to write about leadership and how I had used it to help lead myself to run a marathon.
I would be my own guinea pig, my own case study, for my leadership beliefs.

So I decided to structure the book into 26 chapters, each chapter representing one mile of the marathon.

Each chapter covers a leadership principle and how I applied it in my professional career, and at the end I included a Marathon Diary. The diary explained how I applied that principle to my Marathon goal and my progress, tracking how I constantly pushed myself to meet my expectations and the goals of my leadership strategies.

I really found that once I had the structure, it gave me a great focus, which helped me complete the book. The structure gave me a logical beginning i.e. the defining of the goal and beginning the training, and a clear end - the completion of my marathon journey.

It also turned what could be quite a dry book on leadership into a story, my journey from non-runner to marathon runner with the completion of the Dusseldorf marathon.

If I were to give any advice to a budding author, then I would tell them to find a subject that they are passionate about, and then find a structure.

With passion and structure the words will just flow out, like they did for me.

Gordon has worked in IT for over 20 years and is a specialist in Transformational Leadership, Operational Performance Improvement, Organisational Development, Creating Business Value via IT, and Program and Change Management.

Gordon has an excellent Global and International experience having lived and worked in UK, Belgium, Holland, Czech Republic, USA and Germany. He also has multi sector knowledge including FMCG, Logistics, Utilities, Telecoms, Aviation, Banking and Finance.

Gordon Tredgold is the author of Leadership: It’s a Marathon Not a Sprint. Learn more about him at and about his book at  

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