It Takes a Tribe
It Takes a Tribe

It Takes a Tribe

Tough Mudder had been deliberately conceived not as a race or another Iron Man or marathon but as an untimed challenge. About how the course could only be negotiated with help from friends and teammates and strangers – and that as such it tested a particular idea of achievement, based on mutual cooperation, not winner-take-all competition. (Location 86)

Note: The tough mudder course was designed to be negotiated with help from others anmd not a winner take all competition

I understand that Tough Mudder is not a race but a challenge. I put teamwork and camaraderie before my course time. I do not whine – kids whine. I help my fellow Mudders complete the course. I overcome all fears. (Location 95)

Tags: favorite

Note: Tough mudder pledge. Not a race, but a challenge.

Those two seconds I was asking them to sacrifice were two seconds off their own finishing time. And then it dawned on me: where on earth was the fun in doing this hard thing on your own against the clock? Surely there was another way? (Location 161)

Note: Where is the fun in doing a hard triathalon by yourself against the clock

mission statement for our new business. It read, ‘Grow Mudder nation into a global tribe that lives the values of courage, personal accomplishment, teamwork, and fun.’ (Location 320)

Note: Tough mudder mission statement

in a world where many of us spend most of our days staring at our computer screens, half engaged, we have drawn people together in the real world, got them muddy and given them a sense of shared achievement. (Location 330)

Note: Tough mudder has gotten people away from screens and drawn them together in the real world

‘But more than that, there are certain people in life who make you want to be a better person. They hold themselves to such a standard that you want to raise your own standard just because you are around them. Josh was one of those guys. As the old saying goes, “A rising tide lifts all boats,” and that was Josh. Tough Mudder was a way of keeping that spirit and those stories alive.’ (Location 364)

Note: Be a person that helps others raise their standards. A rising tide lifts all boats

Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved. – Helen Keller (Location 370)

Tags: challenges

Note: We need to go through challenges to develop character

the understanding that your personality and character are not fixed but can be shaped and strengthened by overcoming difficult experiences. (Location 385)

Tags: challenges

Note: You can shape your character by overcoming difficult experiences

‘felt acceptable at a dance and invaluable in a shipwreck’. ‘Character’ was about being prepared for any crisis and being at home in any social situation. (Location 449)

Note: Character was about being prepared for a crisis and comfortable in any social setting

by doing genuinely challenging things I could change the way I thought of myself and how others thought of me. (Location 480)

Note: By doing challenging things we can change the way we think of ourselves

the key difference between success and failure in life is often down to a very simple fact: those people who are told that they have what it takes to succeed often do. (Location 484)

Note: Those who are told they can succeed often do. The pygmalian effect.

I talk now sometimes to the Tough Mudder team about setting our own standards, about not doing the easy thing, but always trying to do the right thing. (Location 497)

Note: Do the right thing

going to an Ivy League college was a kind of vanity on my part – an expensive way of proving to myself what deep down I already knew: that most people at elite universities aren’t touched by genius or brilliance but are, generally, privileged, lucky, conscientious and competitive. (Location 553)

Note: Those who go to ivy league colleges aren't touched by genius

I had no wish to go along with a culture that treated success as a zero-sum game. For me to succeed, you have to fail. I did, however, come away with a strong belief that there were plenty of other people out there who thought like me. They were people who craved belonging and purpose at least as much as money and status, who wanted to be part of something that they could believe in. (Location 643)

Tags: favorite

Note: There are plenty of people who believe belonging and purpose are as important as money and status

Courage exposes your willingness to prove your worth by doing something that is beyond your normal experience. All of us have a sense of our limitations. Not all of us can always find the heart to try to go beyond them. (Location 827)

Tags: courage

Note: .courage

‘Your time is limited,’ Steve Jobs said. ‘So don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.’ (Location 836)

Tags: life

Note: Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition

The best strategy when you are playing chicken is to rip the steering wheel out of your car and toss it out of the window. Knowing you have no control, your opponent has no option but to swerve. (Location 958)

you can’t control what people say about you or think about you, but you can control how you react – at which point being honest with yourself about your actions and motivations becomes the only thing that counts. ‘Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable,’ the psychologist Brené Brown argues, ‘but they’re never weakness.’ (Location 984)

Note: You cant control what others say,only how you react

A small team of A-plus players can run circles around a giant team of B and C players. – Steve Jobs (Location 1071)

Tags: teams

Note: .teams

Have fun Push boundaries Take responsibility Ask why? Be honest Embrace change Accept only the best Focus on the long term Look out for each other Enjoy the journey (Location 1097)

Note: Tough mudder creed

Culture is all the things that happen in an organization when the boss isn’t looking. (Location 1113)

Tags: culture

Note: .culture

James Kerr’s book Legacy, about his time spent with the All Blacks, studying their culture: (Location 1123)

Tags: toread

Note: .toread

In the office after each event we circulate stories from the road and try to make sure that everyone in the company understands ways in which their contribution fits in to the bigger picture. (Location 1183)

Tags: retrospective

Note: Make the team aware of the impact of their work

Much of your life is spent worrying about what is going to happen tomorrow or dwelling on what happened in the past. Physical activity, particularly difficult physical activity, keeps you right there in the present moment.’ (Location 1363)

Tags: mindfulness, worrying

Note: Physical activity keeps you in the present moment

‘If you try to do something profoundly disruptive within a company, the core business will probably smother it unless the CEO purposefully ensures otherwise.’ (Location 1568)

Tags: innovation

Note: Innovation can easily be smothered within an enterprise

Be Bold: Push through big ideas and patiently build consensus. Don’t fear failure or avoid difficult conversations. Stay Focused: Don’t procrastinate. Focus energy solely on achieving goals and priorities. Be willing to say no and cut losses when necessary. Live in the Now: Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to do everything all at once. Make time for others – particularly family. Act Rationally: Don’t take things personally. Keep problems in perspective. Evaluate your own emotions when making decisions. Be Positive: Focus on others’ strengths (not weaknesses). Avoid being judgemental. Focus on the future, not the past. Be grateful for all you have. (Location 2065)

Note: Tough mudder rules of engagement

‘success doesn’t measure a human being, effort does’. (Location 2375)

Tags: success

Note: .success

The arrogance of success is to think that what you did yesterday will be sufficient for tomorrow. – William Pollard (Location 2462)

Tags: success

Note: .success

There was, at one point, for example, much enthusiasm for a Tough Mudder video game, which I rejected because it sent a directly contrary message to the one we were trying to promote: of switching off phones for an afternoon and committing to getting involved in real-world challenges. (Location 2712)

Our overall goal in 2014 was to make Tough Mudder more sustainable in the long term by shifting the burden of the business away from ticket sales so we could cope more readily with any future fluctuation. We are moving towards the target I set for 50 per cent of our revenue to come not from ticket sales, but from commercial partners (Location 2733)

Note: Shift income from ticket sales to partners

We are lucky as a business that almost every weekend we have tens of thousands of examples from Mudder participants that true satisfaction comes not from winning easily but from overcoming serious setbacks in order to reach a goal. If they could keep optimistic and resourceful through adversity, then so could we. (Location 2752)

Tags: challenge

Note: True satisfaction comes from overcoming setbacks

Telling stories to ourselves about ourselves is vital for strengthening the culture. It also reminds us just how far we have come. There is a good reason that new parents take all those photos and videos of their baby – every day a new milestone is passed, and there is an obvious desire to keep a record of each of them. (Location 2894)

‘Humans don’t mind hardship,’ Junger writes, ‘in fact they thrive on it; what they mind is not feeling necessary. Modern society has perfected the art of making people not feel necessary.’ (Location 3003)

Tags: challenges

Note: .challenges

‘If you want to make a society work, then you don’t keep underscoring the places where you’re different – you underscore your shared humanity.’ (Location 3007)

Note: Unite society by focusing on our similarities

‘Tell me folks: when was the last time you did something for the first time?’ (Location 3042)

Note: Have new experiences