Every once in a while something comes along that is well beyond extraordinary. The opportunity to hear Erik Weihenmayer, known as "The Blind Adventurer," give an hour and a half presentation on his experiences, motivations, lessons learned, and extraordinary worldview, was just that. Erik has reached the summit of the seven most challenging mountains in the world, including Everest, and successfully returned. Erik's views are particularly applicable in navigating the New Rules for Reality 2.0 that we have been talking about. He emphasizes the essential role of vision, which he describes as "who you will be versus what you will do," when confronting the unknown. He views himself, and anyone who is in a transformational leadership mode, as a pioneer - someone who reaches into the darkness, the unknown, and then channels fear and adversity into action and fulfillment. To him, such people are alchemists who can turn straw into gold through being the light that shines for our vision.
His view of "summiting," which is such an all-important focus for climbers, is that it is a symbol that we can transform our lives and even the very face of the earth. He asserts that there are summits for each of us, regardless of the venues in which we find ourselves, summits that express the essence of who we really are.
He quoted a Buddhist saying from the prayer service on Everest prior to summiting as "The nature of mind is like water. If you do not disturb it, it will become clear." Quieting the mind is crucial to being present, making powerful choices, and dealing with the risk and pain that leadership in the face of fear, resistance, and unrelenting change demands.
He makes a point that is fundamental to our work in 2130 Partners. "When you set your rope team up right, leadership comes from the most amazing places." Further, as in the focus we have on legacy, he says "the most important part of leadership is how we pass it on to others."
Erik is an amazingly awesome and simultaneously amazingly regular guy. We urge you to hear him in a number of You Tube clips and also to buy his book, "Touch the Top of the World: A Blind Man's Journey to Climb Farther than the Eye Can See: My Story