In 2011, a grass fire engulfed the course of the Outback Ultramarathon in Western Australia, leaving 5 people injured and two women fighting for their lives. Turia Pitt was one of those women, suffering horrific burns to 65 per cent of her body....
When thinking about Turia, what immediately comes to mind, is the sheer tenacity, determination and resilience of a woman whose strength of character and attitude has carried her through an endless amount of battles. From survival of the fire, to life threatening operations, the loss of her fingers and even the ongoing fight for justice against the race organisers, her story is truly gripping.
As you read her book and listen to her story, you find yourself constantly challenging your own thoughts about life, what matters most and the depths of your own character. What's more, Turia's story also reveals some key learning about what it means to lead yourself and others well.
Here are 3 key leadership insights, I drew from Turia’s story:
1. Take on new challenges to build personal capacity
Whether it be signing up for a new and harder marathon or taking up a job in the remote part of the Kimberly region in Western Australia, Turia was always pushing herself past her physical and mental limits and taking up new challenges outside her comfort zone. Investing in personal capacity like this, builds resilience that can carry you through tough times that will inevitably come.
2. Sometimes, force of will is a requirement for survival, let alone success
Following the tragedy of the fire, through bouts of reconstructive surgery and grueling, often painful rehabilitiation, Turia drew on her will to survive and overcame some incredible hurdles both physically and mentally.
3. Choose to see a bigger purpose
Turia did not allow tragic circumstances control or define her in a limited way. Instead, she has since used her influence to inspire others with her journey of overcoming adversity. Turia is now a keynote speaker and takes up public speaking opportunities to share her story at events and in schools. She is also an organ donation advocate who continuously raises awareness through a variety of fundraising activities and community initiatives.
Are there others like Turia who are a source of inspiration to you?
Ashleigh manages marketing and communications for Halogen. Loves people and ideas that challenge the way you think and do. Passionate about helping young people reach their potential and sharing stories that inspire.