For as long as I can remember, I have loved the mountains and I am very grateful for the lessons that the mountains have taught me.
One of the greatest lessons I learned in the mountains is, that if you want to lead, you must learn how to follow. As inexperienced climbers, the persistent prodding of the Sherpa at times can be down right annoying, but those who are able to put their egos aside are more often successful at navigating all the perils the mountain can throw at them.
As a climber becomes more experienced and takes on the role of expedition lead, the role of the Sherpa becomes even more important. Not only are you now responsible to get yourself to the summit, you are also responsible for you team, and having an experienced Sherpa by your side is essential to your success.
Every organization is filled with Sherpas but you have to look hard to find them. You probably won’t find them in typical management roles, those positions are reserved for the expedition leads. Sherpas are natural leaders, they lead by example. Successful business leaders have learned how to identify and follow these Sherpas, unsuccessful leaders let their ego get in the way as they push the Sherpas aside in their thirst for the summit.
If you are in a leadership position within your organization and you truly want to lead, seek out the Sherpas around you, put your ego aside, and learn how to follow them.
See you at the summit!