Mountains truly are magical, aren’t they? There’s a call I hear from them that brings about so many thoughts and emotions. Amongst those are awe, humility, adventure, experience, simplicity, reverence for the outdoors, huge dreams, determination, time, and self awareness. While I’m not always able to spend time in them I can always read a great book about them (usually courtesy of Steve). On our trip I read a great one that helped me appreciate the mountains even more while instilling some some wonderful leadership concepts as well.
High Exposure is a great way to experience the world through the eyes of David Breashears, the direction of the Everest IMAX movie. He details his life from a child of a very broken home to living homeless to taking great chances to finding successes to making mistakes to some pretty serious self realizations. Through his writing I now only found a new / different respect for Everest, but also some great leadership lessons.
- Grit and Risk Taking – Time and time again I am drawn to stories of individuals who had great dreams and busted their butts to attain them. In some cases it might even mean making drastic changes and going out on a limb, but always better to attempt to live the dream, grit it out, and fail than to have never tried. What dreams do I have that I’m afraid to make the jump towards? Where should I dream bigger and work harder to reach it?
- Delegation and Communication – One of his greatest failures professionally came as a result of not delegating tasks he could do himself and by not communicating effectively with his team. When does my micromanaging impair the success of my teams? How can I communicate more effectively while delegating more?
- Humility – Breashears puts it into a very clear point when he said, “… really understood the indifference Everest holds toward human life. You can climb that mountain a thousand times, and it will never know your name. Realizing your anonymity, accepting it in all of its terrible consequences, is key to a mountaineer’s humility, key to a climber’s self awareness.” How true for everyone? When do I think a little too highly of myself and ego gets in the way?
- Gratitude – He shares the story of Beck Weathers, a pathologist who was left for dead on a couple of occasions during the awful Everest tragedy of 1996. As Beck is being led down knowing he’s going to lose limbs due to frostbite he made jokes and was cheerful the entire way down, even commenting about how he always knew this trip would cost him an arm and a leg! Beck was thankful to be alive and didn’t care the condition, he was grateful for life. Sure, I blog every day, but how can I be even more thankful? How do I remember to be thankful for everything that happens as I’m alive to experience it?
Today I’m thankful for a book that scratched my mountain itch while helping me see ways I can live and lead better. Thanks again for the book recommendation Steve!