Failing Forward and Upward
“It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.” – Edmund Hillary
I’ve been an avid hiker/climber since 1993, after first summitting Half Dome in Yosemite National Park. Since then, I’ve been throughout the Sierra Nevada, Rocky Mountain and Appalachian Mountain ranges. I’ve hiked through most U.S. national parks as well as the volcanoes surrounding Lake Atitlan, Guatemala. My favorite hiking destination is Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.
Back in September 2015, a group of buddies and I had a failed summit attempt of Mt. Rainer in the Cascade Mountain range. Mt. Rainier is a stratovolcano sixty miles southeast of Seattle, with a summit elevation of 14,411 feet. With 26 major glaciers and 36 square miles of permanent snowfields, Mount Rainier is the most heavily glaciated peak in the lower 48 states, claiming an estimated 400 deaths since 1897.
Climbing Mt. Rainier takes a strong mind. There’s no “perfect” way to train for climbing more than 10,000 ft. in the sky. One must mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually commit and take it step by step. In addition to the physical challenges, climbers must be prepared to deal with the cold, weather delays, lack of sleep, and team dynamics. The climb is so tough, it’s become a training mountain for Denali and Everest.
What I learned on that climb is that the best vision, strategy and preparation does not necessarily ensure success. An avalanche essentially destroyed the ice bridge that our team would cross to the summit, thus preventing us from accomplishing our goal. Due to this, I prayed and pondered over mountaineering as a metaphor for business. In these moments, The Management Sherpa™ was born. Its mission:
“To help people, organizations and communities reach summits in their lives and business.”
Since 2015, much of this work has been consulting within nonprofit, education and social service sectors, as well doing mission work in Guatemala. The Management Sherpa™ is focused on building people capability, developing organizational capability and enhancing execution capability. These services are offered via executive coaching, integrated talent management and fractional organizational development.
What is your company’s Mt. Rainier? How can The Management Sherpa™ assist you in planning and persevering through the challenges of the hills and crevasses that your company is facing? How can The Management Sherpa™ successfully guide you towards the summit?
Contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org; 513-828-9352