Why We Love Sua Sponte Leadership

When I heard F3’s Lake Norman chapter was staging a CSAUP event that would be open to the general public, I was intrigued. When I learned it would be an overnight relay race around the 70-mile perimeter of the lake, I started to get excited (I’m a sucker for distance relays). And once I saw what Vic “Pierogi” Stramenga and his team had put together, I knew The Iron Project had to be involved.


We were proud to be a sponsor of LKN’s Basin Run Relay, which took place last Friday night and Saturday morning, and even more excited to send two teams to the race to take part!


I’ve never started a relay race at 10 p.m., and the Friday night atmosphere at D9 Brewing in Cornelius for the start was really cool, with some folks just there to have a beer and watch the Hornets-Spurs game, plus plenty of runners, some of whom were also doing a little pre-race carb loading of their own!

As a veteran of 200+-mile relays like the Blue Ridge Relay and the Palmetto 200, I liked running a mere two legs in a relay – that and the overall shorter distance made for easier planning, packing and a nice, “bite-sized” CSAUP experience.

The route went through the towns that encircle the lake, as well as over the dam that forms the lower perimeter of the lake and a section of Lake Norman State Park (with some surprise hills more suited to the Blue Ridge Relay). And by holding the event on a full moon night, there was some backup illumination when my flashlight batteries died a mile into my very first leg!

Pierogi and other F3 leaders of the effort partnered with Jones Racing Company to produce the event and while there were a few hitches (as is expected of any first-time event), the race was executed beautifully, down to the real relay batons that runners handed off at each exchange zone.

Most of all, though, what I saw that excited me about this event – the first time any F3 region has produced and made a CSAUP event available to the general public – is a core element of what we teach in The Iron Project: Sua Sponte Leadership. Roughly translated from Latin, it means “spontaneous leadership.”

No one asked Pierogi to start an event that took the F3 and FiA CSAUP mentality and pushed it out to the broader community. No one told him to set it up in a way that took participants through the entire diverse Lake Norman region and engaged the public in those cities and towns.

He came up with the idea on his own, locked shields with a group of other men who shared his vision and executed on it in a timely and efficient manner. It was our honor to help make that vision a reality -- and it would be equally an honor to help your team operate with similar levels of creativity, efficiency and purpose.

Contact us today to learn how we work with everyone from F3 regions and leaders to high-growth companies to community non-profits to build self-sustaining Leadership Machines!

Tim Whitmire