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Climb Every Mountain

Sorry, not a Julie Andrews post. 🙂

Last week, several members of our team had the opportunity to see One Step Beyond WorldWide founder John Amatt, who is perhaps best-known for his mountaineering and for being the principal organizer and leader of Canada’s first successful expedition to reach the top of Mount Everest. He spoke at an event hosted by Accelerent, a business development platform. During the event, Amatt shared his sometimes-harrowing tale of the climb, but cleverly used it as a metaphor for scaling the heights of today’s unpredictable business environment – and conquering one’s fears of even attempting to scale such heights in business or otherwise.

Growing up, as it turns out, Amatt was blessed with loving and doting parents – so much so he never completely learned to do things on his own. This was best evidenced when his mother simply asked him to get out of the car one day as a teen to ask a passerby a quick question – he froze, unable to find the confidence to approach the stranger.

In planning, preparing, endeavoring and reflecting on his climbs – there were many before and many after the famed Everest jaunt, of course – he not only learned to talk to (and lean on) strangers, but took away these lessons, applicable to all of us in business and out:

  • If you challenge yourself outside of the board room (as in – get a life and live it!), then you will be better prepared to take calculated risks inside of it.
  • Anxiety and fear are okay – if you aren’t at least a little bit anxious, you almost certainly are not paying enough attention to the world around you.
  • When you start to simply operate by habit, without asking yourself why you are doing the task or project any longer, you have hit a state of complacency, bad both in business and on the edge of a mountain.
  • The best lessons you will ever learn aren’t on top of the “mountain,” they are in the journey.
  • Making yourself a place of ultimate security to come back to after everything life throws at you is critical.
  • Try to fight tunnel vision – always use peripheral vision or you will miss something.
  • Always be open to adjusting your plan during implementation. Never operate under the assumption that the first plan was 100% right on the first try.
  • Always make time to reflect on the “climb."

Update: The HMA Public Relations team is still attending all of the amazing Accelerent breakfasts. Be sure to continue following our blog in order to read some of the incredible advice offered at the most recent breakfasts.

Alison Bailin
Alison Bailin
Senior Account Executive Alison has a lot to say…about pretty much everything...all the time. From the current state of public relations to the social media impact on Shark Week to crisis communications in the sports world, Alison’s blogs are focused on “amusing through her PR musings,” and then some. Check out Alison's full bio

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