Through the first half of the twentieth century, experts thought it was impossible for a human to run a mile in under four minutes. Then, on a rainy day, in 1954, a skinny medical student from Oxford named Roger Bannister became the first person to run a sub-four-minute-mile. He electrified the world when he ran 5,280 feet in 3:59.4.
Sir Roger Bannister passed away this weekend at the age of 88.
Bannister showed others what was possible. In the decade that followed Bannister's run, five more runners achieved a 4 minute mile. And in the next decade… now knowing that the human body was capable of a four-minute mile.. 300 hundred runners would go on to break this time barrier.
This first-of-a-kind achievement, followed by many others that replicated became known as The Roger Bannister Effect.
Think about The Bannister Effect in the world of social innovation, philanthropy, and impact! What limiting stories do we tell ourselves? What is possible if we ignore those stories? What if we are the FIRST to show others what’s possible?
- Observe — in your community — how a civic leader makes a $1M gift. Suddenly, everyone is emboldened to ask that person for $1M.
- Don’t make decisions for your prospects!! Many DECIDE something can’t be achieved. But we only decided that on the basis that it has never been done before.
- Use the Rogister Bannister metaphor!
Think about your work. Perhaps you strive to achieve a Roger Bannister Effect for social innovation. What if we could show others what was possible? With changing, saving, or impacting lives?
“Just as Roger Bannister did in 1954, we want to show others what’s possible!” – You