Wisdom from The Leader’s Climb

The Strategy Book
The Leader’s Climb by Bob Parsanko and Paul Heagen is a business fable about learning to counteract the growing pressure to go too fast, fight too much, and force too many decisions.

There is an alternative to this pressure we all feel. Throughout the story—an exercise in itself to create space, slow down and become more aware—the author’s stress three qualities to strengthen your leadership: Awareness (slowing down), Acceptance (embracing reality), and Abundance (considering multiple options).

The Leader’s Climb is well written and nearly everyone will recognize patterns of behavior found in the story’s main character Adam, in themselves. The authors provide a lot to think over. Here are some excerpts:

It’s not hard to see the impact on organizations of leadership that focuses primarily on speed, efficiency, results, and financial return. The same issues come up over and over again. The tyranny of the urgent becomes a substitute for planning and prioritization. Snap decisions with hidden costs replace careful consideration with obvious time requirements. Mindless compliance replaces community and commitment. Activity that looks like momentum disguises chaos. Purpose is sacrificed to performance at any cost.

Removing what does not matter is the first step in figuring out what does.

I’m afraid we often find it easier to fight an obstacle or pretend it’s not there, rather than accept it for what it is and use it to accomplish something worthwhile.

Acceptance does not mean quitting.

Activity is not the only sign of progress.

[Personal responsibility and self awareness.] I’d be a little more careful about seeing who is on the way before you throw your words around. Someone might get hurt.

[The challenge.] You’re becoming more consciously aware of what’s going on around you and what’s going on within you. We just need to find where they fit together.

Most of the time, when people think they are at cross-purposes, it is simply that they don’t know each other well enough. So they speculate or assume, which almost always goes to the wrong place.

Nothing’s authentic when you try too hard and others see right through it.

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