вторник, 28 сентября 2010 г.

Mountaineering And Leadership

"Follow the hero. Be prepared to go to the limit. Be a why-not'er - yes-but'ers kill companies", that’s how Herbert Henzler summarized his speech about “Mountaineering And Leadership” on the Open Day of SKOLKOVO.

Do you want to know more about Professor Henzler’s lecture? It gives me pleasure to describe its key points below.

It is “Mountaineering And Leadership” that I chose to attend on the Open Day at
SKOLKOVO last Sunday.

Its name thrills, but one can draw rather slight analogies in those two areas. So it was very interesting to listen to what can be said on this topic for an hour and a half.

Generally, the workshop was based on analogies between principles Reinhold Messner (one of the most famous mountaineers) follows when preparing an expedition and principles of achieving goals in business. The analogies are very bright and demonstrate the necessity of a competent approach and a thorough assessment of one’s own resources.

These are some points that one should take into account as recommended by Professor Henzler:

1) Innovation approach.
What was Messner’s innovation and what does mountaineering have to do with it? In fact, Messner has greatly changed an approach to mountaineering as such. While 200 people used to form a group with lots of provisions and all that it implied to reach a peak of the Everest, Messner said that he would do the same with a minimum number of people, with minimum possible provisions in order to decrease weight and time required for the very expedition. The point is to plan a path without any unnecessary thing on the back (Messner even didn’t take oxygen cylinders). Yes, this path will be travelled at maximum efforts, but that’s the way the
result is achieved.

We should make a small reservation here. You should try to achieve your goal, but if at some stage you feel that you’ll fail (and it’s not late to return), you’d better stop.

2) Leader
A team must have only one leader. Yes, he can be wrong, yes, he can ignore advice. But if a person is not ready to follow him till the end without doubting his role, it‘s better not to start at all. Doubts result in conflicts that can lead to unfortunate results – both in the mountains and in business.

3) Team
It logically results from the previous item. Generally, an issue of forming a team will always be problematic. One can never 100% predict if a person will become a good or bad member. Anyway, members of your team should understand: since they joined you, there is no return. And at difficult moments they will have to extend themselves.

4) “Be a why-not'er”
One of the key principles is to ask “Why not?” It is the question that leads to the greatest progress. However, in reality most of us belong sooner to the second group - “yes-but'ers”. As a result, a majority of innovations decline in the state of ideas. We like stability and dislike taking risk – it’s our lot and we should struggle against it.

I hope that my summary of Herbert Henzler’s lecture will be of use and help you in building relations not only at work but also in other spheres of your life!

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