Over the centuries, mountains have been common inspiration for parables. Soothsayers and gurus have sought solitude atop mountain peaks and their disciples have suffered hardships in order to benefit from their wisdom.
I myself just returned from a trip up a mountain. I hiked up and slept in a cabin with 80 other hikers – masqueraded as a bachelorette party! Ten women, ranging from 13-69 years of age made the trek within our party. Our group included three teenagers, a journalist (the bride to be), a pilot, a sommelier, a former international development officer, and a management consultant (that’s me). Four of this group had completed triathlons and iron man competitions (that’s not me) and one is a seasoned extreme outdoor adventurer (again, not me). I figured with this combined experience and skill I would just follow along, relying on someone more qualified to keep us all safe and organized.
Critical to the success of our adventure were the organizational skills of the journalist, my constant juggling of strategy in the face of changing weather forecasts plus the sommelier’s determination to maximize our wine carrying capacity. Most interesting however was the unbridled leadership demonstrated by the three teenage girls. They set a brisk pace, leading us safely to our cabin and back through some incredibly challenging terrain and weather.
On the long trek back down from the cabin, I realized that what happened to us on that mountain is relevant to any organization:
These were just some of the important lessons I was reminded of during my expedition. After all, what’s the point of climbing a mountain if you don’t come back with a few pearls of wisdom, along with your stories and blisters?