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5 Management lessons learnt from trekking in Himalayas

Source | LinkedIn : By Akash Dahake

Everybody needs a break from their routine life every once in a while. Since past two years, I’ve been taking my time off to explore the remote mountain ranges of Himachal Pradesh in northern India. I recently completed my second trek in the lower Himalayan range and realised that apart from being adventure filled expeditions, these treks teach you a lot about yourself and life in general than any of the classroom training programs ever can. With every step that I have walked through the diverse terrains during these treks, I have learned a unique lesson. As a management student, I have realised that these lessons are also in sync with what one needs to excel in his or her corporate career. And so I’m sharing with you some of the most important lessons the mountains have taught me.

1.    Taking small focused steps

During the week long treks, I have had to walk over diverse terrains ranging from large slippery rocks and freezing cold river water to long patches of snow. Ascending and descending hills in such terrains have always been challenging. And given the low oxygen levels at high altitudes, I have understood how important it is to take small and focussed steps so as to not tumble and hurt yourself. At places like these,a wrong step may even cost someone their life.

In one’s corporate career as well, one must focus on his immediate next step in the journey towards achieving great heights. Although it is important to not have a myopic view of things around you and constantly look for disruptive trends, one must also not lose sight of their current plan of action.

2.    Always provide a helping hand to the ones in need.

Trekking in Himalayas is never a race. It was both an individual and collective effort of the group to successfully complete each day’s trek on time. Not everyone was adept at climbing and the more experienced or trained ones always helped and motivated the less experienced ones. After all you are only as good as the slowest member in the group.

Different people have different needs. As a manager, one must understand the needs of all stakeholders in the business to achieve desired results and create value for each of them. A true leader will always try to understand his team’s strengths and weaknesses and aim for creating synergies amongst them. As Simon Sinek wisely said in one of his talks, ‘If you don’t understand people, you don’t understand business’.

3.    The need for strong mental endurance

With each successful trek, I was reassured that high altitude trekking is more about mental strength than it is about the physical strength. During these treks, I often felt completely exhausted, gasped for breath due to low oxygen in the air and even experienced a bit of AMS (acute mountain sickness). It was only because of the mental motivation system that I developed along the way, that I was able to complete the journey.

You may face various adversities along your corporate journey, and only your mental toughness will get you through them. Mind controls a lot of things and gives you the power to achieve things you never thought about.

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