The Bannister Effect – Breaking Your 4 – Minute Mile

On May 6, 1954, Roger Bannister ran the first sub-4-minute mile. Before he ran a mile in 3 minutes and 59.4 seconds, it was widely believed to be impossible for a human to run a mile in under 4 minutes. In fact, for many years, it was believed that the 4-minute mile was a physical barrier that no man could break without causing significant damage to the runner's health.

Two months later, Roger Bannister again ran a sub-4-minute mile, this time with John Landy running a sub-4-minute mile with him. Within 2.5 years, ten runners had broken the 4-minute mile, and within 4 years the mark was lowered to 3:54.5.

So what happened to the physical barrier that prevented humans from running the 4-minute mile? Was there a sudden leap in human evolution?

No. It was the change in thinking that made the difference. Bannister, a medical student and part of a new breed of runners, believed that the record could be and should be broken. He was not thinking “what the record is” … instead was in full belief as to “what it could be.”

As business owners and leaders, our beliefs and mindsets have the ability to limit or expand – and not only our own, but those of our teams and businesses. Beliefs influence what you attempt or choose not to attempt. They determine what you pay attention to, how you take action, and how you deal with situations.

In last week’s blog, VP Joanne Bishop discussed the “What If” calculator that is built into our Marketing Performance Dashboard and how it measures numerous metrics (milestones) that can have a significant impact on your practice’s performance and ultimately revenue. It then compares current revenue against “what could be” if improvements are made.

As a leader, you can either do nothing or take action to develop a process that enables your team not only to reach goals, but to consistently attain them. However, first they have to trust you and believe that the goals are attainable. This is where coaching, huddles, 1-1s, relationship building, and growth experiences maximize individual and overall practice growth.

The first step you need to take in influencing your practice is to change the way you think about it. If Roger Bannister accepted that the 4-minute mile was a physical limitation, he would never have tried to break it. Just like the runners of another era, many of the barriers that hold us back today exist only in our minds.

What are the 4-minute miles that are holding you and your practice back?  Many of the things that we believe to be impossible are just that – until proven otherwise.

At Patient News, we provide effective marketing tools and business intelligence that can guide your practice in reaching its full potential. Since 1993, we have witnessed thousands of practice’s break their “4-minute mile.”

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