Ten Steps to Reach the Top

“If there’s a mountain, CLIMB IT: Lessons from 7 Summits to business”

Published in The News & Observer: Full Story

by Grace W. Ueng, CEO of Savvy Growth

Can leadership on the mountain translate into business success? How, when and why do mountaineers go on to be successful entrepreneurs? Here are some tips for doing well at both endeavors:

■ Visioning: Includes the recognition that a powerful vision is compelling. It energizes the visionary and enables them to excite others to participate. The group dream.

■ Choosing teammates: Ones that fill the team from a critical skill set and personality stand point. A quality group that supports the common vision, provides needed feedback, and implicitly trusts one another.

■ Committing to goals and strategies: Need to fully commit and understand what it’s going to take. Decide if team wants to attempt a “first route” — to traverse where no one else has yet set foot. Akin to a breakthrough invention.

■ Understanding the true goal: Agreement among key stakeholders — the team — each step along the way. When to turn back? What is the difference between a “successful exit” and failure? Successful serial entrepreneurs and mountaineers know to focus on enjoying journey.

■ Developing the action plan: Relates to knowing “how things have been done.” Don’t reinvent where it’s not necessary. Must have explicit plan—route, camps, backup camps, how you will communicate, financing. Leverage best practices. Be able to be specific and tactical to reap resulting success.

■ Getting correct resources: You need to have enough provisioning to weather the most treacherous and unexpected of wintry conditions. Have the right staff at base camp to keep foundation solid.

■ Getting sponsors/advocates: Relates to investors, supporters and others.

■ Avoiding danger: Don’t do unethical things. Avoid toxic people. Be flexible and respond to the right opportunities. Know when to innovate/take risk and when to follow. Know when to take risky routes.

■ Understanding the media: Getting positive coverage will help you get support for your next summit, helps you develop a reputation, can help you bring attention to another cause you care about, can open up other doors of opportunity.

■ Choosing the time to ascend: Season, weather, politicaly, personal life. Are all the stars aligned to maximize likelihood for success?

About the Author 

Motivational speaker, executive coach, and consultant, Grace Ueng is CEO of Savvy Growth www.savvygrowth.com.

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