Conquering mountains, figuratively and literally.

In our careers, we regularly encounter challenges that often feel like mountains we must face. Interestingly, aspects of actual mountain climbing align with what we experience in the workplace. I can draw many parallels (see below), stemming from my husband’s summit last month of Mt. McKinley, North America’s highest peak. However, you do not have to be a mountain climber to relate. You can apply the same type of preparedness and fortitude used for mountain climbing to achieve success on the job and in life.  

Mountain climbing, like life and daily job demands, is often a balancing act.

Mountain climbing, like life and daily job demands, is often a balancing act.

Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.
— Michael Jordan

Mountain Climbing Mirrors Life and Work

Prepare as best as you can. 

Research what you will be embarking on or tackling. Follow the guidelines and best practices provided by proven experts. Pursue the necessary training. Do not lose valuable preparation time. You cannot achieve long-term goals by procrastinating.

You have to figure out some things on your own.

Use the expert advice and resources to develop a plan that will work best for your specific situation.

You do not always get to choose your team.

Most likely, you will be among a diverse group of people, some of whom you would not have chosen. Dig deep to find patience and appreciate what each offers.   

You might have to carry a heavier load than your teammates.

Hopefully all team members support the same goal, but you might be more equipped than others to accomplish the necessary work. Instead of being discouraged, embrace being a leader and utilize your capabilities to the fullest. Try to help out others to make the process easier for everyone.

Expect change.

Whatever it is, something unexpected will occur and it will likely be out of your control. Focus on what you can control, which might only be your response to what happens. 

Reaching a goal requires drudge work. 

Everything takes time. Executing the steps of a plan can be tedious. Sometimes there is forward progress followed by steps backward before you can proceed again. Not every day will be the high of a summit day.

Celebrate Success 

Summit days are when the hard work pays off the most. At work, this could be getting the rebate from your card provider, reaching your supplier on-boarding goal for electronic payables, completing that overdue risk assessment, launching a Declining Balance Card program, or other. Summits are great, but so are milestones. Both can provide a sense of satisfaction for what you have accomplished. Enjoy the views throughout the journey!

About the Author

Blog post author Lynn Larson, CPCP, is the founder of Recharged Education. With more than 15 years of Commercial Card experience, her mission is to make industry education readily accessible to all. Learn more

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