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If you want to be a leader, mountain climbing is a great way to get the experience you need. It takes courage and determination, just like leadership does. Besides, you can learn many skills from this adventure sport that will translate into success in your career or personal life. In this post, we’ll explore five skills mountain climbing can teach you about being a leader.
Mountaineering will teach you a lot about avoiding complacency. Take Shishapangma, for instance. It is the 14th highest mountain globally and is considered one of the most approachable peaks to climb because of its direct route and relatively straightforward approach to Base Camp. As a result, most people in good physical shape should be able to climb this mountain. However, without adequate preparation, this peak can still prove to be deadly.
You could have the best Shishapangma expedition itinerary and still not be prepared for the harsh conditions. This demonstrates that a complacent attitude will not help you survive in the mountains or any other area of life, including leadership.
Many stories are told about mountain climbers who attempted to summit a mountain only to fail and die. Yet, despite the reports of failure, many climbers continue climbing these mountains to conquer them or simply for the experience.
Other climbers try one year after another to summit a mountain until they succeed. But, as this example shows, success can be achieved through persistence and determination, notwithstanding the many failures that may precede it.
A person determined to climb a particular obstacle will eventually find their way over or around it if not overcome with exhaustion first. The same attitude needs to exist in a business where new ideas are not always the success we hope they’ll be.
Mountaineering can also teach you about trust. With it, if you just put one tiny step in front of another and don’t look down or back up again until you’ve reached the summit – success is guaranteed! Without it, the mountain will always be too steep for your foot to make a foothold.
The same case applies to mountaineering with a group. Trusting your fellow climbers with the same confidence you have in yourself is essential for teamwork and success.
As a leader, it’s important to trust others while also trusting oneself to provide leadership when needed. Of course, it takes practice, but mountain climbing can prepare one well for that experience!
When you’re climbing some of the world’s most enormous mountains, you need to surround yourself with a team that can work together as a cohesive unit. Not to mention, they need to know what they’re doing and be up to the task.
A key to forming that cohesion is getting teammates with big egos and different strengths on board. However, this doesn’t mean that you should get arrogant and aggressive people on board. It means being able to work with people who have different strengths and personalities. Instead of trying to dominate, they should be team players and support their teammates by helping them grow as individuals.
If you’re climbing Mt Everest, for example, your entire team will need to be able to get along for it all to come together at the summit! As a leader, you’ll learn that people are different and have strengths in other areas. So not only will you need to be able to differentiate between the various personalities of your teammates but also know how best to utilize their talents for the team’s benefit. You’ll find yourself needing someone different to step up in various scenarios. If you can master how to use your team’s diverse abilities, you’re well on your way to successful leadership.
Mountaineering will also teach you a lot about emotional intelligence. As you climb higher and face more life-threatening risks, the importance of self-awareness elevates. As a leader, this will enable you to understand your emotions and those around you better.
You’ll realize that you’re not always at the top of your game, even in the best physical state, especially if your mind isn’t in the right place. Furthermore, mountaineering can help you discover what’s holding you back and teach you how to conquer your doubts in a safe environment, which is invaluable for any aspiring leader.
As you can see, mountain climbing can teach you many skills that will benefit your career as a leader. From focus and willpower to the ability to make decisions under pressure, these leadership skills are necessary for any position of authority.
Therefore, the next time you’re looking for a new way to improve your leadership skills, consider signing up for intensive mountaineering courses.
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