“I want to stand on top of the world,” he proclaimed to his family and friends.
For the son of a beekeeper, that would be an ambitious aspiration. Ed’s climbing experience began as a high school student. Although he followed in his father’s footsteps as a beekeeper, he wanted more adventure in his Story. Following a tour of duty during World War II, he returned home determined to achieve his goal, which could mean nothing less than to summit the most famous mountain in the world, Mount Everest.
The thirty-four-year-old New Zealand beekeeper, Edmond Hillary, along with his Sherpa, Tenzing Norgay, set out to reach the summit on May 29, 1953. Tenzing served as a highly-skilled and experienced climber and mountain guide in the Everest area. Tenzing’s role was essential to the beekeeper’s success. Together, they set out to reach the South Summit.
THE HERE TO THERE JOURNEY
Edmond Hillary’s adventure, like all Mount Everest expeditions, was disrupted by storms, changes in the weather, high winds, falling temperatures, avalanches, and physical limitations brought on by severe exhaustion or dehydration or altitude sickness.
Disruption is what happens on your way to a place of promise, significance, contribution, to getting better. Disruption happens on every Journey to the Next Level.
Like an expedition, your adventure has minor and major disruptions. That health concern or financial reverse. An unexpected lay-off. Market or supplier changes. Industry trends.
On your way to a banner year, something happened. Something threatens your “five-year plan.” Disruption like rain on a picnic makes another appearance in the Story.
Everybody has a Story.
CHOOSE YOUR WORD, FIND YOUR PATH
When something threatens your world, you must choose your response. Either you see disruption as something that happened TO you or FOR you. The word you select reveals a belief and sets you on a path.
The TO ME belief engages the use of defense tactics like blame, being a victim, denial, rationalization, minimization, or avoidance. This path leads to Stuckville. The opportunity to learn from the disruption or grow and develop is hindered.
The FOR ME belief leads to the pursuit of truth. There is a conviction about getting better. This path leads to a spacious place. The opportunity for next-level performance opens up before you like the rising of the sun.
The TO ME belief produces a fight/flight response ignited by anxiety or fear regarding the future. How will this disruption affect my life, my work, my team, my business? The default setting that follows is to elevate your attempts to control. Fear-based emotions trigger unproductive behaviors.
The FOR ME belief encourages engagement based on a faith regarding the future. You have the freedom to ask, “How does this disruption call me/us to change and get better?” Instead of control, you seek to be calm. Calm leads to engagement instead of fueling the fight/flight response. To show up calm suggests you are stable, steady in purpose, firm in resolution, and not subject to insecurity. Being calm is a big deal if you want to lead people through disruption to improve performance. And yes, you can be calm, passionate, enthusiastic, and results-focused at the same time.
You must choose what you believe about disruption.
CREATE SPACE TO THINK
Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay completed the 29,035 feet climb, reaching the summit of Mount Everest that morning. The “men shook hands; Tenzing then embraced Hillary in a hug. Hillary took photos. Tenzing, a Buddhist, made an offering of food for the mountain; Hillary left a crucifix Hunt had given him. The two men ate some sweets and then headed down. They had spent about fifteen minutes on the top of the world.
Fifteen minutes on the top of the world before the next chapter began.
So, what’s your Story? Where are you experiencing disruption?
Which belief do you have, is it happening TO you or FOR you?
How are you showing up, controlling or calm?
How can I help you write the Story you want to tell?
Here’s to your summit,