I have been watching my partner, David, cycling around 50 miles couple of times a week and wondering where on earth does he get his enthusiasm from (I can barely do 10 min spinning on our high-tech indoor CycleOps without constant whingeing!). Now, he has never been into Golf but has always said that Cycling is what does it for him.
So cycling is a great workout and can even help build your career network.
When it comes to executives and networking, many successful people are pedaling instead of "driving" on the golf course in order to develop strong professional social circles.
Movers and shakers enjoy mixing business and biking for a variety of reasons. Some use cycling regularly as a popular social activity so top bosses can get acquainted in an active, informal manner. Rob McGovern, CEO of Jobfox, is among the many in pursuit of connections on the bike path. "Golf just doesn't work," he says. "It's slow and sedentary. Besides, who has five or six hours in a day to network? Think of it as having all the social aspects of golf, but while wearing spandex and going 20 mph with a heart rate of 150 beats per minute."
Some added doctors, lawyers and businesspeople into their social networks, thanks to cycling. Going on rides, like prospecting sales professionals, can build business relationships and increase mutual affinity.
Overall, I see this wheeling and dealing in a very positive light. Cycling is healthier than golf and a sound body makes for a sound mind, which translates to better performance in the office. So, go ahead and saddle up.
Quick tips how to Ride right
- Know when to schmooze. That's before or after, not during the action. Sure, some executives may enjoy business-flavored chat while going 20 or 30 mph, but many want to achieve a goal first and talk later.
- Gauge your skills. Connect with a group that complements your professional interests and matches your skill level. A cyclist who looks weak on wheels might be judged as weak in the Boardroom.
- Be accountable. Show upon time with equipment that's in good working condition. If you hold up the action, you could come across as unreliable.
- Love it. If cycling isn't your thing and you're doing it strictly for professional reasons, it will be obvious, and your effort could have a negative effect.