This week I want take a look at Eric Weihenmayer. A little back ground about Eric first, he went blind at the age of 13. Since then he has climbed the highest mountain on every continent (dubbed the Seven Summits) including becoming the first blind man to climb Mount Everest. He has also climbed El Capitan in Yosemite National Park and Losar which is a 2,700 – foot tall vertical ice face in the Himalayas. He has also kayaked the entirety of the Grand Canyon. On top of these achievements, he is also a best selling author of several books including the book “No Barriers” and he is a prominent speaker world wide. He has also started a non-profit called No Barriers.

It is Eric’s belief that through adversity we are able to achieve great things in life, business and society. Adversity causes us to pull ourselves together and work harder to achieve our goals. Eric said that if it weren’t for the team around him he wouldn’t have been able to reach the summit of Mount Everest. For even though he is a very independent blind man he would need a team that was could come together and work as a collective whole to solve any problem that they faced along the way and bask in any glory that they accomplished together. He has said that one of the things he loves about climbing is that everyone is roped up. According to Eric, a good team is like a snake, everyone is in perfect sync yet everyone is doing their own thing and vital and functional and safe. But what he really likes is that if one person makes a mistake or falls it is in the best interest of the entire team to stop and work together to prevent that individual from falling, you either win together or lose together, there is no middle ground. It is Eric’s belief that leadership is not just about reaching your own summits, but that it is also about helping those around you reach their summits.

There are a couple take aways from this. First, no matter how difficult a task may seem, there is always a solution and it usually comes in the form of working together with those around you. This also points to another take away that the team around you should be full of strong minded and strong willed individuals who will support you, challenge you and push you to be better. This also goes to show that no matter how difficult a situation may be, there is always a solution. The final take away would be that while reaching the summit (or achieving your goal) can be epic, it is often the path to the top that helps you grow and adapt the most and it is the path to the top that (rather than the success) that can be the most fulfilling.