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Iron Sharpens Iron

·2 mins

Karsten Warholm from Norway is the fastest man in history at the 400 meter hurdles (45.94 sec). In this summer’s Tokyo Olympics he broke his own world record set in July, 2021. Before Warholm’s July world record, Kevin Young’s record time of 46.78 seconds had stood for nearly 30 years. Beyond Warholm’s astounding performance, what impressed me was that his American counterpart Rai Benjamin also bested Warholm’s July record in the Olympic final. The bronze medalist, Alison dos Santos from Brazil, also beat Kevin Young’s 30-year-old time in the race. How is it possible that a world record that stood for so long could be eclipsed by three men in a single race?

But that’s not all.

In the women’s 400 meter hurdles event, American Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone (51.46 sec) broke the world record she set at the U.S. Olympic Trials in June. In the olympic final, her teammate Dalilah Muhammad (51.58 sec) also broke McLaughlin-Levrone’s trials record. Since October, 2019, three women—McLaughlin-Levrone, Muhammad, and The Netherlands’ Femke Bol (the olympic bronze medalist)—have all beaten the previous world record of 52.34 seconds set by Yuliya Pechonkina in 2003 a total of seven times.

In an interview after her record-breaking performance, Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone reflected on how her competition with Muhammad has pushed them both to be better.

Do you have someone in your life who’s pushing you to be better at something that matters to you?

The best leaders in the world know that surrounding themselves with people whose skills outpace their own in specific ways is the best way to ensure growth. If you as the leader are the best at all (or most of) the important things your leadership team needs to do, then I would respectfully suggest that you, your team, and even your company are at grave risk of stagnation and eventual decline.

A Thought to Ponder #

As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.
—Proverbs 27:17 (NIV)

Something Delightful #

NPR’s Tiny Desk concert series in a frequent delight. One of my favorite’s from the last year is the at-home concert with Kirk Franklin. Featured during Black History Month, this concert features Franklin with all the energy and enthusiasm that has made him famous in world of gospel music.