As the first British woman to climb Everest, Rebecca Stephens occupies a unique place in mountaineering history, and yet regards herself as nothing other than ordinary. What she achieved is something she believes is accessible to any one of us. ‘It’s about clarity of vision, defining exactly what it is you want to achieve,’ she says.
To listen to Rebecca talk about Everest is to be up there on the mountain with her and to feel the gut-wrenching effort of every high-altitude step. It’s to feel the misery of looking failure in the face, and the jubilance of turning everything around and standing ‘on top of the world.’
It is also a lesson about what every one of us can achieve. It’s about setting sights, taking initiative, overcoming fears and sheer tenacity and grit. And it’s about recognising one’s limitations and working collectively with other people – about leadership and teamwork. ‘Without the Sherpas,’ she says, ‘I could never have climbed Everest.’
Rebecca’s story is a powerful metaphor for our lives and our careers.
Time and time again people draw insight and a fresh way of approaching familiar issues which is to the real benefit of themselves and others, at home and in the workplace.
The Seven Summits of Success is delivered as:
– 1 or 2 day’s training in teamwork and leadership
Not satisfied with only climbing Everest, Rebecca went on to climb the Seven Summits, the highest peaks on each of the world’s seven continents. By her own admission, it was an extremely steep learning curve. She had to acquire the requisite mountaineering skills, but also the transferable skills of leadership – both of oneself, and others – to ensure success. They are presented as follows:
1. Kilimanjaro (Africa) – The First Step
2. Denali (N.America) – Training, planning and preparation
3. Everest (Asia) – Communication and effective teamwork
4. Elbrus (Europe) – Coaching and leadership
5. Cartstensz Pyramid (Australasia) – Recruiting the best people
6. Aconcagua (S.America) – Positive thinking
7. Vinson (Antarctica) – Tenacity to the last
Together the Seven Summits provide a unique opportunity to look at the seven principles of leadership in a dramatic and memorable way.
On each mountain, Rebecca learned what it takes to succeed in extreme and often dangerous conditions. By bringing back this learning to the training arena, she uses the mountains to explore the peak principles of success that unleash the power within all of us to create winning teams today.