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Climbing the Mount Everest of Sales

Climbing Mount Everest takes skills, planning, a strong team and luck. But it's how people work together that matters the most.

The same applies in business. While I was in Hong Kong leading a two-day sales leadership workshop, I picked up a Chinese newspaper where there was a lengthy article on this very topic in the business section. Immediately, I knew it would be a good topic for the blog.

The article discussed hiking deaths that have occurred and how several hiking organizations focus on climbing the mountain and their different planning styles. This included an IMAX film team as well as guided-climb teams. Each team had different objectives and styles but they had common goals. In summary, the article reviewed how any organization can use the same concepts these climbing teams used in leading successful organizations.

The author also included an assessment scorecard to measure your own organization's capabilities. The scorecard rates teams by four categories: goals, roles of each member, processes and interpersonal (GRPI). Organizations can score their team on a scale of 1 through 5 (where 5 is the best score) for each of the four categories. This GRPI model can improve team efficiency and effectiveness by enabling leaders to focus first on what is needed to strengthen the team, instead of rushing into a task (and possibly failing).

Next time you have a major objective, use this process and assessment scorecard to ensure success. You don't want to fall short of your summit! And if you want to learn more, check out the book Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer, an adventure consultant.

Posted by Ken Thoreson on August 13, 2012 at 11:59 AM


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