Who is in your team?…

The teenager hadn’t a map, had been scared when the mist had come down, and had run out of water. He was just a few miles into a long walk.

The very soggy group of four adults were wandering lost in torrential rain trying to find their way off the cloud-enveloped and wind swept mountain.

I am writing this in a Lake District café at the end of Day 2 of a week of personal mountain training and preparation for a trip to the Himalayas in November. It is also a week for reflection, and reconnecting with a number of friends.

Both incidents happened in the last 48 hours. I am an experienced mountain leader and was able to calm the teenager, give him some spare water, and guide him on his way. And I was able to lead the soggy group off the mountain and down to safety.

Providing help was instinctive; yet my later reflections on their planning, preparation, and performance were judging and uncharitable. “How could these people be so stupid and unprepared. Have they any idea of the danger they were in?!” Probably not.

Most people don’t knowingly place themselves in un-assessed danger.

And so the nature of my reflections shifted. “Maybe these good people were benignly ignorant, rather than stupid. They were just unaware of the possibilities. Maybe their difficult mountain experience was a new one; one full of new learning.”

Tapping into others’ learning…

When you engage in new projects and endeavours do you ever wonder if others might be able to guide and advise? Before the journey? Can their learning and experience also help you along some or all of the way?

What value do you place on this? Do you know what your learning curve looks like? How much are you leaving to hope and good fortune? Learning -by-doing can be fun and exhilarating, but how amazing could the journey be with tailored expert support?

Team GB athletes haven’t achieved their medal haul on their own.

Who is in your team?

Dave Stewart
The Fresh Air Learning Company Ltd