I love the exhilaration of blasting down a mountain skiing. I have just spent the last week in awe at Lake Tahoe taking in the amazing views and the latest fresh snowfall. As I was enjoying our family vacation, it occurred to me that there were many parallels between skiing and remarkable leadership that I distilled into these 8 tricks you can apply today:
Don't be afraid of speed.
It is harder to ski slowly than ski fast. It requires more effort more energy and you don't progress as rapidly. Just like your business. Don't look for the most cautious route to achieving your goals. Don't zig-zag your way around, point your skis vertically, duck, and embrace the speed.
Take lessons from those better than you.
Too many marketing experts have never marketed anything but themselves, too many leadership experts have never proven they can lead. Just like you wouldn't take ski lessons from someone who has never skied a black run, make sure you are listening only to those credentialed to give you advice.
Studies have shown that the act of looking forward to an event is almost as exhilarating as the event itself. While that research puts surprises on the back burner, the anticipation of the first ski lift up on the first morning skiing cannot be beaten. How are you building anticipation with your team about your next significant milestone?
The worst advice comes from your spouse.
Never learn to ski or snowboard with your spouse. It won't end well. For ten years in Europe I used to ski with a large group of friends and consistently, if a couple decided not to take lessons and give each other advice, it would without fail end in arguments at the top of a mountain. Don't listen to your spouse as the sole advisor of your business. Get expert wisdom elsewhere.
If you fail, get right back on it.
My first time skiing we arrived at the top of the mountain in Italy to attend ski school, but it was the wrong mountain. With no ski lift down, I had to attempt to ski when I had never skied before. Within a few minutes I was on my back, having fallen over and hit my head on ice. I was stretchered off the mountain and had six stitches in the back of my head. That was the fastest ever lesson to lean forwards not backwards when skiing and I went straight back to skiing the next day. When you make mistakes, get right back to trying.
Find the right pace maker
When I first started to learn to ski I hated skiing with my friends who were all ridiculously better than me. Instead, I would book myself into full day ski lessons where I could ski with people who were about the same level or slightly better than me. Find the right pacemakers to spend time with as you grow and build your business
Fix your eyes on the horizon
At the top of a double diamond black run on Heavenly Mountain there is the most incredible view across the Californian and Nevada state line. That horizon gave me the inspiration I needed to ski down and go right back up again to see that view again. How are you viewing your horizon and painting that picture for your employees?
Clear your mind
When you are skiing fast down the mountain you are focused on one sole thing, nothing else enters your head apart from which route you will take down. Create that clarity at work by only focusing on one thing at a time to speed up your journey.
Whether you are an avid skier or snowboarder or can't stand the snow; are you blasting down your own mountain or still cautiously considering?