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The #1 Inspiring Secret to Big Positive Action Immediately

You already have everything you need to be a bold, courageous leader; to go for it and to achieve the extraordinary results that you most want to achieve. In this episode, I share with you how I know this from my own experience.

About the Host:

Amy L. Riley is an internationally renowned speaker, author, and consultant. She has over 2 decades of experience developing leaders at all levels. Her clients include Cisco Systems, Deloitte and Barclays.

As a trusted leadership coach and consultant, Amy has worked with hundreds of leaders one-on-one, and thousands more as part of a group, to fully step into their leadership, create amazing teams and achieve extraordinary results. 


Amy’s most popular keynote speeches are:

The Courage of a Leader: The Power of a Leadership Legacy

The Courage of a Leader: Create a Competitive Advantage with Sustainable, Results-Producing Cross-System Collaboration

The Courage of a Leader: Accelerate Trust with Your Team, Customers and Community

The Courage of a Leader: How to Build a Happy and Successful Hybrid Team


Her new book is a #1 international best-seller and is entitled, The Courage of a Leader: How to Inspire, Engage and Get Extraordinary Results.


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Amy Riley:

Welcome to The Courage of a Leader podcast. This is where you hear real life stories of top leaders achieving extraordinary results. And you get practical advice and techniques, you can immediately apply for your own success. This is where you will get inspired, and take bold, courageous action. I am so glad you can join us. I'm your host, Amy Riley. Now, are you ready to step into the full power of your leadership and achieve the results you care about most? Let's ignite the courage of a leader.

Amy Riley:

I have had the opportunity to work with so many leaders and so many different leaders, leaders at different levels, leaders in different industries, leaders in different sized companies, and also the opportunity to speak to many leaders. And in the coaching in the leadership development programs in the back of the room. After a keynote, I hear in the questions that leaders ask me that they are unknowingly playing a waiting game. It creeps in there, they're waiting to have the next credential are waiting to have the roadmap all figured out, or waiting to have all of their peers on board, or have the board of directors on board. Because this happens with all leaders from emerging leaders, to CEOs of Fortune 500 companies unknowingly playing a waiting game to a degree. And I tell them what I'm about to tell you. And that is you already have everything that you need. You already have everything that you need to fully step into your leadership, to go for it to make those extraordinary results that you want to achieve. possible today. You already have the courage of a leader, you already have everything that you need. And here is how I know from my own experience, I'm standing in Madison, Wisconsin, on a road next to my bike. It's raining, I'm trying to protect my phone. As I am in tears inconsolable on a call with my husband Kevin ranting, I'm ranting. I'm saying I'm supposed to go on an 80 mile bike ride today I have only gone 11 miles and I am lost. I am tired of figuring things out for this training. I don't know whether to go forwards or backwards. I have a GPS and a map and I can't figure it out. This is the worst idea I have ever had. Why did I think I wanted to do this? I don't know how he understood half of it through the tears. But he said, Honey, you've got this. Right. I know it's hard. If it was easy. Everybody would be completing Ironman races. Pick a direction, see what you find. I'm behind you. The kids are behind you. It's going to be okay. So I said okay, and wiped my face off kind of pointless in the rain. I got back on the bike. I decided to go backwards. Eventually saw something familiar. And I finished that training ride. It was just a not a very auspicious sign that I was falling apart after 11 miles. You see because I had signed up for an Ironman race, which consists of a 2.4 Miles swim 112 miles on the bike, and then a marathon 26.2 mile run. There is to know about me I was a middle of the pack marathoner. And that's it. I couldn't swim a length of the pool without feeling panicky and out of breath. And I had just bought my first road bike. What was I thinking? Alright, day of the race. I've got my timing device on which is a tracker that's velcroed around your ankle, and this tracks you and your time throughout the day. Right. my amazing husband Kevin is there as well as our two kids. Mackenzie is a responsible thought Full. She's a loyal friend. And then our son Jake, he's an in the moment self expressive, loving guy. So these three wonderful people are there to support me. I get done with the swim, and I'm out on the bike. Things are going well, I'm moving along. My back tire is flat. I'm surprised, but I'm prepared. I know how to do this. I know how to change the tube and the tire with the co2 cartridge out on the course. I do that, get back to riding. I get a second flat tire. I'm more surprised. I'm still prepared.

Amy Riley:

I changed my tire get on a little bit awkward at it, but it's happening. Right. So now I'm back on the bike. I'm more than halfway through the bike course. I get another flat tire. This time I'm keeping it together. I'm doing what I need to do. But the tears are coming down. Because I'm doing the math. There's a cut off time for each of the sports that you need to meet in order to go on to the next. I'm in danger of not hitting that bike cut off time. It's going to take a miracle to get there in time. I get back on my bike, I'm going fast. And yep. I get a fourth flat tire. This time I'm not crying. I am just moving. I get it on I get back on the bike. I am now writing faster than I have ever ridden on a bike ever. I get to the end of the bike course. I slam my bike over the dismount line, I get off the bike. And in front of me is a lovely volunteer. She reminds me of Mary Poppins. And I yell at her did I make the cut off? And she says no. I burst into tears. And Mary Poppins starts hugging me. So I'm hugging her. I'm not letting go. I'm holding on to Mary Poppins and mid embrace. I noticed another volunteer. We'll call him Voldemort. He's crouched down. He's taking the timing device off of my ankle. My race day is done. I had trained for this race for a year. And I did not finish. My family feels terrible. We pack up we go home defeated. The dream is over. But then I check in Ironman Maryland is still open for registration three weeks later. I could get in. I checked my calendar. I don't have anything scheduled that weekend. This feels like it's meant to be. So I register for the race. I book. I book a flight. I make hotel reservations. I make arrangements to ship my bike to Maryland. I show up at that start line. And they cancel the swim. So I finished the two parts of the race that I'm allowed to finish. I crossed the finish line. I get a medal. I head home. And technically I'm an Iron Man. Yet in the words of our then seven year old son Jake, you are not a real Iron Man. Mm hmm. Well, truth tellers. Yeah. So I let it go. I let it go. It's okay. I have a metal. I crossed the finish line. Don't listen to Jake. A few years go by and then Ironman Wisconsin comes back around. I tell my family are hesitant at first, and then they get on board. My daughter Mackenzie says, Mom, you gotta go finish that race. And my son Jake says, then you'll be a real Ironman. So I go back to training. It's Wednesday before the race. I wake up and I clearly have a virus. This is a race I estimate it will take me between 15 and 16 hours to complete. How is my body going to do this with a virus? Thursday. I'm in bed and I'm thinking about bagging this race. Friday. I'm not any worse. So I get up and I start going through the motions. I pack up the car, I drive up to Madison, I check in for the race. I'm sitting in the mandatory athlete meeting, where they're telling you about the race course and some details for race day. And something clicks, something clicks, and I think this is happening. This is happening. So on race day, I start swimming, and it's rough. The waves are big enough that you can't get into a regular rhythm with your swim stroke and the breathing. I take on water at least a half a dozen times. But it's okay. This virus is not taking me down. These waves are not taking me down.

Amy Riley:

I get out on the bike. Three of the gears on my bike are not working. This is not ideal on a hilly course. But I keep riding. And I finished the bike course. I'm so excited. There's no Voldemort in fights. I am ecstatic. And I get off my bike, and I almost fall over. My legs are so wobbly. They're like noodles. I change into my wrong gear. And then it dawns on me. I've been racing for over nine hours. And now I need to run a marathon. This sounds impossible. I take off running oil on steadily on the two lap run course. And I tell myself to break it down. Run the four miles until you turn onto the trail. Run to the hill. Run to the next hill run downtown. Finally, I turn this curve to go into the second lap of the Run course. What I thought was challenging to do the first time I now get to do again. So I'm jogging on the second lap of the wrong course. And set a raindrop Yes, raindrop. Now it's pouring. We keep running. I'm slowly clicking the miles off. financially. I'm getting closer. I can't believe it. I don't let myself believe it. We all know that things can go wrong in a race. Keep moving. Finally, I'm approaching the finish line. My family is going to be there. And I tell myself don't expect to see them. It's going to be crowded. Going to be lights. Don't expect to see them. Amy. I make that final turn to face the finish line. And there's McKenzie and Jake jumping up and down screaming there they are. I crossed the finish line. My family's there. My husband hugs me and says I'm so proud of you. You did it. The kids wrapped themselves around us and we are all squealing I finally finished my Ironman for real Jake. All 140.6 miles. Yes. I want to share with you what I learned through this process. We can do more than we think that we can do. We have more in us than we believe that we do. I know that each and every one of you can achieve what you want to achieve. You can cross that finish line. Even when you think that you can't. Right you can accomplish your dreams because you have the courage of a leader. Thank you