Ascending the Corporate Ladder Becomes Easier If You Have a Rock Climber’s Approach

Written by on January 8, 2022 in Business with 0 Comments

Rock climbing made its debut at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan (postponed to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic). The decision was based on a single, but critical factor – the International Federation of Sport Climbing, in 2015, estimated that there were 35 million climbers worldwide. It was a more than enough indication of the popularity the sport has garnered over the years.

Considering its rich history, its inclusion as an Olympic sport was a long time coming, though.

Although rock climbing was an important component of Victorian mountaineering in the Alps, it’s generally believed that rock climbing began in the last quarter of the 19th century. Gradually, it evolved from an alpine necessity to an athletic sport in its own right. It’s no more a fringe activity.

Almost 150 years later, rock climbing has gone from being a niche sport to a global sensation, attracting men and women of all ages who are thronging to the many new climbing centers that have sprung up across Europe.

So, what’s the big deal about rock climbing?

“It’s the ultimate full-body workout, engaging your hips, torso, thighs, calves, biceps, quads, heart, and more. But what sets it apart is the mental and emotional benefits it offers. When a climber regularly spends time on the wall, they will likely notice improved mental strength and insight. The problem-solving aspect of climbing actively engages the brain in a way that, over time, can help develop focus even when applied to other tasks”, says 35-year-old Luxembourg-based Rajat Khare, who was drawn to rock climbing and yoga at the age of 12.

This makes sense. When climbing, people learn to focus on attaining specific goals, like completing a new route or reaching a challenging hold. This logical cognitive process allows climbers to be intentional in their pursuit of other things in life, too.

Drawing corporate lessons from rock climbing is one such benefit.

Focus is key in rock climbing, as it is in business too. Rock climbers Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgensen best exemplify this. In 2015, they climbed the Dawn Wall, a 3,000-foot rock face in Yosemite National Park, California, widely considered the world’s hardest climb. It took the duo six years of thorough preparation, training drills, and mostly falling. They didn’t just turn up one day and made the ascent.

It’s the same way in business – it will take time to achieve your goals. You can’t just expect overnight results. Planning, time, consistent effort, failure, and even heartache, are what’s going to drive you to the summit.

Donovan Williamson, a Paris-based professional rock climber and a successful entrepreneur, owes his professional prosperity to climbing. “When I first started in business, failure felt like it shouldn’t be part of the process at all. Climbing has taught me the truth.

“They say only about 3% of a market is ready to buy at any point in time, which means if I talk to 100 people, chances are 97 people aren’t interested in what I have to offer. And that’s okay! There are three that are! And those three are where the gold is”.

Failure is a guide, helping us to continually improve the process, communicate more efficiently, and relax when things go awry. Understanding that falling and failing are natural and crucial will help us enjoy the process rather than run away from it.

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