On Top of a Mountain – by Kate Hurlbut

“Whenever you see a man on top of a mountain, you can be sure he didn’t fall there.”

These words, attributed to Adolph Rupp, a legendary basketball coach at the University of Kentucky, offer profound insight into the nature of success and leadership.

What comes into your mind when you hear about someone climbing Mount Everest? What do you note about such an undertaking?

Are they crazy? How much did they train? How did they persevere? What kind of mental, physical, and work ethic must they have? Did any of them want to quit halfway up the mountain? How grueling must it have been?

I notice that this ONE individual completes the task with MANY people around them.

They train. WITH OTHERS.

They camp. WITH OTHERS.

They climb. WITH OTHERS.

But the difference in the climb is that they are being guided by experts who have already climbed this mountain. Sherpas have experience. They know the mountain. They know to look towards the sky, read the clouds, and the direction of the wind, and tell the climber to stop and take shelter, or to keep moving ahead, or perhaps completely change direction and sometimes – even as painful as it is – to get off the mountain altogether.

Now, I’ve never climbed Mount Everest, but I have hiked some challenging trails. I took my oldest daughter to Zion National Park for a weekend last October. It was a weekend I’ll never forget.


Photo of Walters Wiggles

On our second day, we hiked Walter’s Wiggles to get to Scout Lookout and Angel’s Landing. Cute name for a torturous climb! I’ve never been so physically challenged in my life. Walter’s Wiggles is a series of 21 steep switchbacks that take you up a steep elevation gain of 250 feet at high altitude. (My lungs and knees will never forget.) Along the way, there was a group of people that we befriended. We shared stories and encouraged each other along the way. We celebrated at the top and took pictures. As odd as it may sound, we had a true bonding experience with those strangers. We were all in it together for those three hours of climbing.

On our way back down, we saw tired hikers that were on their trek up. We passed along encouragement to those who were struggling, breathing heavily with sweat-filled brows, pointing out how much further, what to look out for, and warning that the chipmunks might just bite if you try to hand feed them.

The climb, the challenge. It was worth it. There was never disappointment. Were there tarantulas on the way? Yep. Were we chest-deep in icy cold water carrying our bags over our heads? Yep. Did my muscles ache for days after? Sure did! But the satisfaction of the challenge and the glory of the view as we climbed higher and higher made every ache and pain worth it.

Some of Zion’s trails were created in the early 1900s. Their painstaking work allowed us to make the climb ourselves more than a hundred years later. While we experienced the physical pain of the hiking, a lot of the mental work had already been done. The paths were cleared, and directions clearly marked. We had a challenge ahead of us, but the path to get there was easy to follow.

THIS is what MasterThink is about. We work with clients of all industries as they navigate their way to the top. We have cleared the brush. We have moved the boulders and logs. We have marked the paths. We can guide you to the top of your mountain as well! We don’t offer a gondola. We don’t put you on an effortless ride that drops you at the top. But you won’t climb the trail alone. You must still take every single step up that mountain, but you will have OTHERS – a dedicated team of professionals to train, advise, and climb alongside you.

Our commitment to our clients is to be a reliable partner and guide. Your personal Sherpa, so to speak.

Interested in following a well-marked path to the top? Give us a call and take the first step in your journey to the top.

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