Last weekend, I attempted the 3 Peaks Challenge* – ascending Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon, the highest mountains in Scotland, England and Wales respectively. During the trip, and while pushing myself to get up (and down), I learned some things about myself, and the world. These I’ll be sharing here in a series of blogs over the course of this week.
Day Two: Scafell Pike. We headed off from the delightful Wasdale Hall hostel, and were on the path to the mountain by around 8:00 AM. Over breakfast, Pere had given us a good run-down of the climb ahead of us: 50 or so minutes of pretty much walking up stairs, a brief lull over some scree, a serious scramble up a ‘chimney’ called Lord’s Rake, and then a march across rocks to the summit.
Knowing exactly what to expect seemed to make it easier for me than yesterday’s easier-but-longer trudge up Ben Nevis. I knew the steep part was going to go on for a bit, but then we’d have the exhilaration of scrambling up Lord’s Rake and popping out at the top, almost at the summit. So I knew to get my head down and keep going – it wasn’t going to be forever. Key lesson there, Lesson Four: managing expectations is essential – if people know what to expect, they accept things much more easily.
Too many times in business, and in life, we try to keep people’s focus onto the good things, and we don’t tell them the bad bits, in case it puts them off. It’s more effective to do what Pere did – set our focus onto the fun we were going to have going up the rake, and then let us know about the tough bit that was to come first. In other words, create the vision, and then be honest about the obstacles.
Mind you, even with great expectation management, the team still had challenges on mountain number two. Register for updates for the next blog, and yet another lesson …
* Lite version, over 2 days.