Leadership Insights Gleaned from Hard Trails (LIGHT) – Respect the Trail at All Times.

HikeItForward-Final-MediumPeople get hurt on the trail every year – some even die. Many injuries occur because hikers fail to plan and/or they do foolish things. Some climb out on dangerous rocks, dive/swim in unknown waters or attempt to cross raging rivers. Others fail to drink adequately filtered water. Some thru-hikers have to go off the trail because of an injury caused by simply not watching where they are going. The Appalachian Trail is well marked and well maintained but it is still a wilderness experience. My dad used to share about a friend of his that was attacked by his pet wolf. Dad told me that a wild animal is always a wild animal no matter how domesticated you think it might be. The A.T. is a wild trail no matter how many people hike it and the trail must be respected as such.

RunnerThere is a sign at the top of the south rim of the Grand Canyon of a world class marathon runner who died in the canyon because she started her journey with only 1.5 quarts of water, 2 power bars and an apple. She got lost and had underestimated the power and danger of the blazing heat. The trail deserves, and will sometimes demand, our respect

In much the same way, leaders need to respect their organization and the people with whom they work. Careful preparation and wise decisions are imperative both on the forest trail and within the organizational path. The wise leader will research the possibilities, know the threats and oppositions, and attempt to understand his/her strengths and abilities. A disrespect of the path holds constant peril for the hiker/leader. Professional pride or the hunger for power can injur, cripple and even destroy one’s leadership. Respect for the organization, the position, the team, the people and the mission will greatly strengthen the leader and his/her ability to hike the hike.

Categories: Appalachian Trail, Gear, Grand Canyon, Leadership, Thru-Hike, Trail | Leave a comment

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