Pathways to Success

Goal setting is important technique in the business adventurer’s toolbox. Goals are essentially the steps required to achieve your vision. Goals can consist of two types; ‘have to’ goals and ‘want to’ goals and there is a critical difference between them. The most effective goals are set by us rather than imposed by others. This way they are related to things you 'want to' achieve rather than those you 'have to'.

In order to reach your goals it is useful to use milestones. In essence, milestones are something that must be achieved in order to take you closer towards achieving your goal; in other words they are stepping-stones. Sometimes milestones must be achieved in a certain order to take you in that direction; at other times you will have a choice.

Having set milestones it is necessary to ensure that they are met. It is not always effective to wait until the end of a task to evaluate. A review approach I have adopted on expeditions, for which I have coined the phrase Tent-Time©, is a way to manage progress towards the completion of milestones.

Using Tent-Time©, you can improve the way in which the task is carried out and managed before it is completed. It enables you, and your team, to learn from mistakes and ensure they are not repeated in future tasks.

In simple terms, Tent-Time© is time out to review feasibility and performance, listen to feedback, recognise success, learn from failure and modify plans accordingly. It is important that planning allows for Tent-Time© to take place and in the most objective manner possible.

Tent-Time© is the basis on which team members understand how they are performing and what areas they need to improve on, what is going on within the team and how they are contributing to wider team goals and objectives.

Tent-Time© provides evidence to justify a pathway to success with potential setbacks and difficulties readily highlighted. Individual awareness and mutual understanding increases and communications improve. The effectiveness and efficiency of team progress is monitored and team cohesion and confidence is reinforced through recognition of progress.


5 great tips on How to motivate your team

The ability to motivate is what transforms a leader into a high performance business adventurer. Motivation comes from within individuals but leaders do play a significant role in influencing motivation. Everyone one of us is motivated, and de-motivated, by different factors and what works for one person may not work for another. To motivate is to pump people up. It aims people toward a goal and then fires them toward it like a rifle shot.

Too often, the people listening do not share the courage of the leader who is doing the pumping and aiming. When the pump's away, the people deflate. More people need to be lifted up than pumped up. This is what inspiration does. The real challenge for the business adventurer is to identify what motivates team members and take steps to provide that factor.

The challenge is further compounded as individual motivators change through their life and as external influences are applied. It is a useful practice to regularly seek feedback from team members on what motivates or de-motivates them. Here are 5 great motivation tips

1 - Be motivated yourself As a leader your behaviour has a big impact on your team. Being motivated will transcend to your team and encourage them to achieve higher levels of performance.

2 - Select people who are motivated
If you can, select those who are motivated. A team of self motivated individuals will invariably achieve higher levels of performance and results.

3 - Set realistic and challenging goals
People generally strive to achieve what is expected of them. If you set challenging achievable goals your team will work hard to accomplish them.

4 - Recognise progress
When your team achieves an important milestone share the success collectively. This enhances team cohesion and provides inspiration and forward momentum.

5 - Give recognition
Catch team members doing something right and ensure that you communicate the fact to them and others. This can in the form of an award, a notice in a company newsletter, or an email or telephone call to them.

One Man Epic

On the 26th of February 2010, Australian Tom Smitheringale will set out from Ward Hunt Island at the northernmost edge of Canada with the aim of of being the first Australian to reach the geographic North Pole solo and unsupported.

A feat described by the world's greatest climber Reinhold Messner as '10 times more difficult than climbing Mt Everest' and one that has only been achieved by 2 people in the history of polar exploration. An epic battle by one man against blizzards, bears and broken ice, covering 800km in under 60 days on the ice.

To explore and follow Tom click here


The Art of Decision Making

For the business adventurer the art of effective and timely decision-making is a key role, particularly with regard to major decisions that impact on organisational strategy. Minor decision-making should be delegated to the lowest level possible in line with requisite experience, capability and capacity of the junior manager.

New business adventurers need to learn very quickly they cannot do everything themselves. Part of effective decision-making is letting others implement your decisions. It would seem obvious at the entry manager level that this lesson should be the first learned in business management. Yet surprisingly it isn’t. A leader is someone who utilises people and brings out the best in them, so delegate away. Trust your people to do what you trained them to do.

Even if it is a critical task, they will not learn to be leaders themselves without going through the same trials as you did as a leader. Guide them and coach them, but never believe you cannot delegate every task you have.

Tough choices are also a daily requirement of decision-making. Business adventurers have to hire and fire, to sign off on new strategies, and to risk investments - all of which can lead to stress and guilt. The presence of guilt is not a result of making the wrong choice but of choosing itself. And that is the human condition: you are a being that chooses. However, to make a proper decision, one has to be well-informed.

7 Questions
Here is a simple model for decision-making that I have used on my adventures both during the planning and preparations stages and on the ice. It should be thought of as a mental checklist which should be followed when considering a course of action.

What do I want to achieve and why?
What could go wrong if I take no action?
What have I assumed?
What resources are available?
What constraints are there?
When do I need to take action and where?
What is my fallback option?


Venture into New Territory

The business world is full of examples that demonstrate the value of trying something new. As business adventurers, each one of us is an entrepreneur at heart, and we love the challenge of trying something new. Leaders of the future need to have the stomach for conflict and uncertainty, both among their people and within themselves. That's why effective business adventurers need to have an experimental mind-set.

Some decisions will work, and some won't. Some projects will pay off, and some won't. But every decision and every project will teach you and your organisation something about how the marketplace is changing and about how your company compares to its competitors.

Having self awareness of your strengths and weaknesses, or your capabilities, is incredibly useful for the business adventurer. Often what you may consider are your strengths and weaknesses are very different to how others perceive you.

Having identified your capabilities look at ways in which you can improve them further, or develop areas where you are not so capable. Always strive to stretch yourself, look at what you can do that makes you uncomfortable and step outside your comfort zone. Tackle your fear and limiting beliefs head on becomes easier the more often you do it. Your self confidence will build and you will create new opportunities for yourself.

Your first unknown is also learning how to be a good business adventurer. Everything else is connected to this skill. Ask any new manager about the early days of being a boss. Indeed, ask any senior executive to recall how he or she felt as a new manager. If you get an honest answer, you’ll hear a tale of disorientation and, for some, overwhelming confusion. The new role didn’t feel anything like it was supposed to. It felt too big for any one person to handle. And whatever its scope, it sure didn’t seem to have anything to do with leadership. Once you’ve figured out how to establish yourself then you have to deal with why you are a leader in the first place.

Much of it has to do with leading people and teams into new ventures; it was why you were chosen to be a leader in the first place. You showed qualities and skills that evidenced a high potential of success in dealing with the unknown and as a leader. Many times going into the unknown actually requires courage to move in a new direction. The status quo may want to sit still, not change anything and keep things the same.

However, to improve or move ahead, a business adventurer may find that the solution is convincing everybody to step out of the boat into the water, even if many are afraid to do so. Courage to try something new, despite the crowd, is an inherent skill of the business adventurer.


A Masterclass in Leadership - Book Launch

I’m excited to announce that over the last year (longer actually) I’ve been working on my latest book and I’m just weeks away from the book becoming available for purchase!

What’s the Book About?

The book is titled Leading High Performance Teams

I know the title really says it all, but unlike other leadership books that are big on theory, I share my own experiences of what really works through practical, tried and tested insights. Inside the book, I will share the lessons, experience and skills acquired to lead for high performance and what is needed to be a successful business adventurer. You can read more of the outline and topics covered here.

But today I just wanted to let you know about the upcoming launch and to invite you to sign up for a newsletter that will give you access to a free sample chapter as well as my Business Adventurer Newsletter.

Pre-Order and Save

The great news is that for a limited time I am also making the book available for pre-ordering at a 10% discount. All you need to do register to claim your 10% discount when the book is published. I’ll send you an email to let you know when the book is published.

Get on the Email List

As mentioned above – I’m offering everyone the opportunity of joining an email list that will give you access to a free taster chapter of the book as well as my free newsletter. You can sign up for this here.


Sharing Insights : Conrad Dickinson

Conrad is a successful businessman in the northeast of England and has also become a highly successful British polar explorer with an impressive portfolio of achievements that include the 'Polar Grand Slam' - skiing unsupported to the South Pole, North Pole and across Greenland. Conrad is the first Briton to achieve this feat! Here's what Conrad had to say about motivation and risk.

Your polar journeys are truly inspiring and show that the seemingly impossible is possible. What is it that motivates you day after day on your journeys?

If you stopped and looked at the big picture, you would never start! it's just too overwhelming. The trick is to break it into bite size chunks...one step, one two hour march, lunch break and the end of one day. At the end of the day you then say "well I got through today, so I'm sure i can manage tomorrow" and so on

Your polar journeys are particularly high risk endeavors. How do you approach risk?

I minimise risk by exceptional detailed planning and research into all aspects of the expedition, after that you rely on the phrase coined by Rune Gjeldnes - "guttsing it" - it basically means you attack something you are scared to do, but all the planning and reasoning tells you it will work out in the end...and mostly it does!

To explore more on Conrad visit:


Starting out on Your Leadership Journey

Just starting out on your leadership journey? Newly promoted and feeling a little disorientated? Here are some quick insights on what works me when I am leading new teams:

Know your Team
You’re not going to win your team over immediately. Start by getting an idea of their capabilities and interests.

Teams work best when everyone knows what’s going on and who’s responsible for what. Nothing destroys a team faster than mistrust or the hiding of information.

Leading into the unknown is like the beginning of a polar journey. Everyone is tense, and itchy. Then you start to ski, and you forget about everything else but the task. Forget about the noise; focus on the goal.

Remaining Positive

An ability to take things in your stride, adopt a problem-solving attitude and stay optimistic can make the real difference between ultimate success and failure. While others around you may feel like keeping their heads down, a positive attitude will ensure that progress through a difficult period will be sustained. As a business adventurer, optimism and a ‘can do’ mentality, can have a real positive impact on others.

Here are some great tips for keeping your optimism up:

Keep Learning

Through learning you will develop your own leadership and technical skills gaining confidence. Read books, attend training course, listen to inspirational speakers and find a mentor to support your journey.

Keep Good Company
Socialise with people who are motivated and exhibit actions that show self-discipline and commitment. People with integrity will provide you with drive and a sense of purpose in your whole outlook.

Avoid Negative Company
Nothing will demote you faster than people who never produce results, seldom keep their word or always see the negative side of situations.


Sharing Insights : Dave Pearce

Dave Pearce is a mountaineering instructor, a TV/Film Safety Coordinator, a leadership consultant and professional speaker. His life has been packed full of adventure including working with Bear Grylls on the television series 'Born Survivor' and 'Man Versus Wild', re-enacting Captain Scott’s race to the pole in the television programme 'Blizzard: Race to the Pole'...and scaling some of the largest rock faces in the world - most notably on the 22nd of May 2003 summiting Mount Everest via the challenging and difficult North Face.

It was a summit 'push' that almost failed due to desperate prevailing conditions! Here's what Dave had to say...

Dave, your mountaineering achievements are truly inspiring. We often see mountaineering as an individual adventure, how important was the team?

DP:On Everest I was a member of a great team where everyones interdependence provided the foundation for the confidence we needed to reach the summit in some quite desperate conditions. Having a strong team on a mountain like Mount Everest is key to increasing your chances of not just success, but also survival. The team provided inspiration, support and a collective and measured assessment of the situations we had to face.

Your mountaineering exploits are particularly high risk. How do you approach risk?

DP:I am quite pragmatic about risk, I approach it with measured thought and set of rules and values that I live by; and ultimately, with a strong desire to return home safely to my family. For me reaching the summit of any mountain has always been a bonus.

What do you do when you are not scaling mountains?

DP:I work hard and play hard. When not away I devote much of my time to my wife and three daughters; which in itself an adventure!

To explore more on Dave visit http://www.peakaspirations.co.uk/