Leadership Lessons from a Trek to Mt.Everest
In a world full of adventurers who are summiting all 7 mountains under extremely short time frames, running ultra marathons, hiking across countries, trekking to the base of Mt.Everest might not be a big deal for most. However, for somebody who could barely walk a few months prior this was quite an accomplishment. I signed up to go on a trek to base camp Everest in support of the young lives we were hoping to touch through Courageous Girls. It was an incredible personal and professional journey. What was even better were the leadership life lessons I picked up along the way.
- It’s about the journey and not the destination: It might be cliche but it actually really made sense. The view of Mt.Everest from base camp wasn’t as majestic as I had imagined. We could barely see it peeking from behind the big mountains hiding its view. No wonder more people want to try and summit Mt.Everest to truly feel the grandiose. The 8 days of trek leading up to the base was painul but beautiful! The views were breathtaking along the way. It was the journey that expanded my perspective. All the ways we were pushing ourselves outside of our comfort zone, all the patience we are displaying in getting there as a whole team truly helped us all gain some deep insights into ourselves. This made me realize that any mission or project we undertake in our lives shouldn’t be just about the goal we set out to achieve. It is about the people we meet, the lives we touch and the lessons we learn along the way.
- The big grand goal is just a few turns away: Everest is just one turn closer. There were days when the trek was extremely tough because of the altitude we had to gain. Our Lead Mountaineer kept telling us to walk at a really boring pace. The boring pace would help us to not lose our breath because if we lose our breath as we trek to higher altitudes, it would be more challenging to complete the trek. The boring pace for me was literally one step in front of the other. I kept focusing on the next turn that I can reach. Even on days that were extremely tough, I focused only on reaching the next turn. Before I knew it the hundreds of shorter turns got us to the base of the Everest. That made me learn that our seemingly tough goals are really just a bunch of turns. Each small turn helps us on the path to achieving the great goals we set for ourselves. In addition, if we can go at a pace that is comfortable then we would enjoy longer healthier lives and our goals are achieved at a much more comfortable pace.
- Saying “YES” opens up a world of Opportunities: In addition to saying Yes to the opportunity to go on this trek, I kept saying Yes to all the opportunities that came my way in the form of visits to nonprofits, local businesses, business schools and individuals in Nepal. It opened my eyes to not just a myriad of problems that could be solved through technology and business but also helped me build an ecosystem of support for the new project we started working on to empower more young girls. We found trainers, mentors, program managers, funders, etc., all ready to help us.
By taking a radically different adventure with an amazing group of people created another life changing experience for me. It opened up a world of opportunities, opened my mind to ideas of impact, culture, etc., I hope you can say Yes to something drastically different from what you would normally do and gain the perspectives that I did.