8 Lessons Climbing Has Taught Me About Life and Leadership

Rock climbing has been an integral part of my life for the past 13 years. What began as a distraction from the madness of undergraduate studies has blossomed into a long-term love affair. I have always loved the physical challenge associated with the sport, but over the years, I have come to notice just how many opportunities it offers for personal and professional development. Below are the 8 key lessons climbing has taught me about leadership, and life:

1. Collaboration and Differing Perspectives

Active encouragement and coaching are common when someone is stuck on a route. This is often quite helpful, as people on the ground have a different vantage point, and can see the route in a way the climber can’t. There have been many instances throughout my climbing career in which I have been able move past a problem as a result of these different perspectives. I am able to get farther faster when I am open and willing to work collaboratively with others.

2. Failure is a Moment, Not an End Result

Failure is often celebrated. This is possible because failure is seen as a moment, rather than an end result. Just because I didn’t complete a route this time does not mean I never will. Failure, then, is an opportunity to collect information to apply to the next attempt. This information allows climbers to identify their strengths, where they need to grow, and what they need to do differently to successfully complete the project.

3. The Power of Resilience

4. Resourcefulness: How to Leverage Strengths

5. Creative Problem Solving

6. Trust

7. Move Beyond Fear

8. Climbing as Meditation

I believe that leadership can be learned anywhere, and I know I have a lot left to learn from climbing. Are there activities in your life that have offered you powerful teachings about life and leadership? Let me know in the comments!

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Executive Coach. Crazy Cat Lady. Adventurer of mountains and temporary desert cities. www.merakileadership.com