We all know the traditional holiday figures – Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, St patrick’s day leprechauns, etc.; well I am adding the runicorn to the list.
I first met the runicorn on the morning of July 4th 2014 when my daughter Molly and I ran a 5K color run. The @TheColorRun describes itself as “an event to promote healthiness and happiness by bringing the community together to participate in ‘the Happiest 5K on the Planet’.” The basic idea is for runners to get doused with a variety of different colors (color powder actually) as they run the 5K course. At the end of the event, they had a large stage with activities including a series of “color toss” events where everyone throws colored powder into the air at the same time. The resulting cloud of color rains down on everyone adding more color to the mix. I really had a lot of fun at this event, mainly because I got to do it with my oldest daughter who is about to leave for college (topic for another day). I was also impressed by the organization and environment (culture) of this event. By making it fun, they encouraged many people who might normally not try a 5K to come out and give it a try.
With this background in place, I’ll turn this back to the runicorn. Right before the race began, the emcee of the event called for the “runicorn” – word play for a running unicorn – to come down to lead all the participants to the starting line. This resulting character, a unicorn in running clothes, then led everyone in a mass conga line dance to the start. Again, I was struck by the positive, light hearted spirit and the idea of the “magic” of the runicorn word picture.
This whole experience reminded me that, as leaders, we have a lot of influence in the environment we set – at work, at home, or even in the line at the grocery store. If our influence is positive, encouraging and fun, we have the opportunity to bring more of these same qualities and feelings out in others. We also have the potential to draw more folks towards us (or toward the goals and objectives of the organization) in the same way the color run event gets more people out of bed on a Saturday morning to go for a run.
So here’s my challenge, let’s all be runicorns this week. Let’s lighten up a little, give folks the benefit of the doubt and look for opportunities to inject some fun into the mix. I imagine the resulting color cloud could be magical 🙂