Friday, November 30, 2012

3 Leadership Lessons interacting with the Giant Wound

I am trekking through the Oman desert. It’s over 100 degrees with no shade in sight. The dunes are endless, some peaking at over 300 feet. I have chills because I am so hot, our group is scattered, I am caked in sweat and sand … and I am having the time of my life.  No, I am not a masochist; I am on an Outward Bound expedition.
What do extreme challenge and discomfort have to do with leadership? Everything, if you ask an Outward Bound instructor. Outward Bound is a non-profit educational organization, which for over 60 years has used extreme wilderness environments and challenges as incubators to cultivate character, leadership, compassion, self-reliance as well as to foster team and international peace building initiatives. The guiding philosophy is a blend of tenacity, physical challenge, courage, and perseverance melded with compassion, self-sacrifice, and tolerance. Leadership is not for the faint hearted; a unifying ethos is feeling a level of comfort with discomfort, and Outward Bound provides conditions for facing and harnessing the power of fear.