The first survival objective surprised me, “I’ve got to get off the top of this mountain.” He went on to explain that the extreme temperature changes combined with high winds and lack of food and water were deadly killers. It sounded strange to me. People spend large sums of money and energy to see mountaintops. Why not stay there?
In the American Christian context a “mountaintop experience” is sought after. Most of us like to think that we could live on the mountaintop permanently. It’s great to enjoy beautiful vistas and take in the grandeur of G-d’s beauty. Unfortunately, that’s just not how survival or leadership works. The truth is that too much time on the mountaintop can kill you. It can even kill you quickly
It seems almost counter intuitive to be suspicious or watchful when things are going well, but the high winds of pride can sweep in quickly to render the leader ineffective. When things are going well, the team can get complacent and loose the creativity and drive that propelled them to the peaks. Things are not always as they seem. They might not be as good as they appear to be either.
So in your work and relationships, don’t be afraid of the canopy of the forest. That’s where shelter is. That’s where character is built. You can find consistency in the valleys of life even if it’s darker and you can’t see all around you like you could on the mountaintop. I’m sure this metaphor has some holes, but there is a lot of truth to it. Mountaintops are amazing, don’t shy away from them, but too much of them can kill you. Embrace the valleys as much as the peaks.
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