I’m not a climber, nor have I yet to have a desire to climb Mount Everest. However I am fascinated by human will and the account of Alison Levine in her book On the Edge, and how she parallels her experiences in extreme environments to the potential and success that we could have in our careers and personal lives as leaders. Alison uniquely points out that we all have the responsibility to lead and that leadership is not just reserved for C-level executives across corporate america. She describes herself in the book as a contrarian to what we traditionally understand about leaders
hip principles however her truthful reality and ability to story-tell can be unquestionably insightful into our own lives. While she diverges from traditional thought, she hits the nail of the head and I find myself having so much more personal insight and delight to what she has to share.
“We are all in the position to proactively work towards having a positive effect on the people around us.”
– Alison Levine
Life is about the journey and the process at arriving at our destination. While we may not be climbing Everest we may have another goal that at times requires additional strength and fortitude to achieve. If we surround ourselves with people who want us to realize our aspirations, how much easier is the climb? While it is both our action and inaction that influence those around us, we need to look for opportunities that have a positive effect on others. Mentoring and encouraging others on their path in achieving their personal Everest is what true leadership is all about. Can we also not enjoy the sunrise from another vantage point other than the peak? I believe that it is just as beautiful and often more rewarding.
On the Edge is now on my shelf to recommend and lend to others. Not just for the lessons in leadership but that of accompanying Alison on her personal journey in climbing Everest and to better understanding the various obstacles that others have in conquering their own dreams.