Team agility is incredibly important in order to respond to change and succeed in an uncertain and turbulent environment.
While I know this to be true after four decades of service in the military and business, I had the opportunity to relearn this lesson on a recent family hiking trip in the Adirondacks high peaks. The mountains are absolutely stunning and invigorating, but also challenging, and unforgiving. I did not anticipate that the unexpected was about to happen. I had no idea that this hiking trip was not going to go as planned.
At 4,587 feet, Wright Mountain is the 16th highest peak in the Adirondacks. In the heat of August, the climb can be difficult, but the view is definitely worth it. My family and I got an early start after a night of camping. Our collective objective was to successfully summit by mid-day. We have climbed many mountains all over the world and I had no reason to suspect that today would be any different. History told us we would be successful. We felt confident and ready.
My experience highlights the need for agility on any team. In this example, the initial goal of summiting was changed on the fly. My family embraced the new objective and pitched in to make it happen. We trusted one another. We were steadfast in our commitments to one another. We learned from the experience with a deliberate “after action review”. We incorporated our learnings and two weeks later successfully summited Giant Mountain, a 4,626 foot peak, 12th highest in the Adirondacks. This time around, we were well hydrated and carried plenty of water and electrolytes for the climb. We embraced adversity and learned from our experience.
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