Who have you most admired in your life? Take a few minutes and truly think about it.   

When you contemplate leadership traits, what comes to mind? Is it the traits you most admire and want to embody yourself?  

The biggest leadership or even lack of leadership comes from what I’ve learned on mountaineering teams. In the long run, these team mates are the people who will either help you stay alive or potentially kill you. The stakes are high yet they are in everyday life as well when all you want to do is put food on the table and a shelter over you and your family’s head.  

Have you ever had a time when you thought someone had your back and they really didn’t?  

Falling into a crevasse (a huge hole in the snow) could mean a broken leg, losing gear, or potentially losing your life. If something goes wrong, can you rely on your teammates or do they scatter when you need them most? 

This plays out in big stakes corporate meetings as well. Think about this.  

Larry had been working day and night for months attempting to close a deal. He was called into a high-stakes meeting with sharp, dark suits on the other side. He came face to face with Jordan and his colleagues.  

Jordan’s colleagues started grilling Larry with pages of questions. Will you do this? Will this occur? Then, another question? Then, another question. While Larry could easily answer the questions the sheer weight of responsibility of who this deal would impact came crashing down. Jordan, normally a poised, and calm guy, started to break down. Larry recognized this. Larry quickly asked his team to leave the room. His team continued the questioning. Larry spoke with a stern, deep authoritative voice. Leave the room NOW!  

Jordan, a large, distinguished gentleman broke down in tears. Larry apologized for how abusive his team was. Larry slid his personal number across the table and said, we’ll resolve this.  

Larry called his team back in and said exactly what his company will do to move the deal along. Perplexed and shocked, they agreed how to move forward. 

That night, Larry called Jordan to thank Jordan. Larry never realized how hard he was on his team, making them feel threatened and fearful if they did something wrong. From that point forward, he apologized to his team for being so hard on them.  

How does this apply to being a good leader? A good leader is the anchor, the consistency and commitment to whatever situation or project you’re working together on. It’s the type of person they are and how they show-up. On a mountaineering team, the leader is the last person on a roped-up team. They lead from behind not from out in front. 

Take a look at your own style:  

  • Do you lead by example or with fear, manipulation, and control? 
  • Do your actions match your values? 
  • Do you build others up or bring them down?  

Wishing you an abundant, joyful, and prosperous day! 

Lora Polowczuk 

Chief Energy Officer  

© 2021. Lora Polowczuk. All Rights Reserved.