In the first part of this series on Insurmountable Circumstances, I talked about the all-important aspects of preparing yourself, your mindset, your character, etc. After you have begun this process (since we never are fully “ready”) then you must take the time to gather the right personnel and equipment.
Aside from the inner drive to actually take on the imposing mountain in front of you, perhaps the next most important thing that is needed to climb and summit a mountain is the proper gear. Having the right supplies can make the difference between life and death, achieving or failing. You and I know that having the right equipment is important, however sometimes what makes the mountain in front of you seem insurmountable is because you know you just don’t have the stuff needed to get to the top. So how do you gather what is needed?
The truth is that no one of us has all the supplies needed in our back pocket. We must go to the appropriate stores, spend some money, take some time and procure the needed items. Similarly in the workplace and in our leadership efforts, we must go to the appropriate people that have the equipment and expertise that we need and enlist and recruit them to join our expedition. The greatest accomplishments will take time, energy, money and grit, but if they are truly worth taking on, they are worth the investment. Taking the time necessary in advance is so important because if you aren’t personally ready, and if your team isn’t prepared and if you don’t have the right gear, you will have set yourself up to fail.
But, what about if you don’t know the right people? What if you don’t know where to start? (Is it possible, can we even admit, that as leaders sometimes we really don’t know? If you have taken the time to prepare yourself first, you should have already dealt with this.) In situations such as these we need to find others who have trekked the same path (or a similar one) as ours. We have to start asking questions. We have to admit that we need help. Recruiting a guide, or a coach or seasoned veteran is always a great way to learn and get ready to face difficult circumstances.
The right gear will vary from mountain to mountain but what is important is making a plan, and then being fully prepared (and actually expecting) to change the plan on the go. Prepare for where you want to go, gather the supplies necessary, set out and embark on the trip of a lifetime, but recognize that your trip will not ultimately look like the picture in your head, nor will the end result be everything you thought it would be. Instead the trip will be better because of the ups and downs. It will be more full and robust because of the things you didn’t see coming and didn’t plan for. But if you have the right inner attitude, the right supplies and the right team, then heading over that insurmountable obstacle and actually summiting is one of the greatest feelings in the world! And furthermore it will give you great encouragement, hope and perseverance for the next one.
So in conclusion, the next time you find yourself looking at a daunting and seemingly insurmountable obstacle, take the time to prepare yourself, gather the right people and right supplies, be willing to invest sufficient time, energy and money, find a guide, expect the unexpected and ultimately learn to enjoy the whole trip and the people who go there with you.
Photo credit: kevin dooley / Foter / CC BY