Four Career Tips From Mount Everest Climber

mountainsWe refuse to live and work in a silo. After all, who would choose to block out the world?

That’s why we get inspired by all different walks of life. Meet Adrian Ballinger, CEO/founder and lead guide of Alpenglow Expeditions. He’s the only climber ever to reach three 8,000-meter peak summits in less than a month. That means he climbed Mount Everest twice and Lhotse once!

(We’re beginning to feel like major slackers. But anyway…)

We figure Ballinger knows a thing or two about goal setting and achieving lofty ambitions no matter how high (okay, bad pun, we know!).

1. Enlist a team. “While you may work alone in a coffee shop, most of the time having a virtual team is really important.” And if you’re on a team in a full-time gig, he suggests relying on them.

Consider this — even though he’s done solo climbing in big mountains, he says you think you may have all the right skills to be successful on your own but a team just catapults you to another level.

“As soon as I have people around me to bounce ideas off and to motivate me, it really transforms my experience on the mountains. Then I have a team of guides. Their passion combines with mine and just pushes me so much further.”

2. Communicate, communicate, communicate. Your plan may constantly change as its in motion. For Ballinger, that means the weather could change at a moment’s notice from bad to good and back again. If you’re not communicating with everyone in your project, he says, “It can get really audacious and so you may lose some of that feeling of mutual feeling to reach the same goal with a sense of reality.”

The key is to be on board with small steps. Sure, at first it may seem far away but you map out how to get there.

And communication goes the other way, too. “Really listen to your team,” he quips. “Never get so focused in your own head.”

3. Mind the details. While Ballinger says the ultimate goal is important whether it’s reaching the summit of a mountain or turning in clean copy on deadline, you “can’t lose sight of the details.”

Yes, this includes time management, being punctual for appointments and building strong relationships.

4. Go with your gut. Tap into it and rely on it. For Ballinger, that means trusting his years upon years of experience in the big mountains to make good decisions at “dangerous moments.” Although there’s a lot of time and preparation prior to the start, he says that intrinsic gut feeling just lets you know whether something’s right or not.

“We always want to be successful all the time and make things work but when it’s not right. Having confidence because of your past experiences can go a long way.”