So, in two weeks I am embarking on the climb of my life. If you follow me on Twitter you will know by now I am a committed climber. Having already reached the peaks of Elbrus and Kilimanjaro, my team and I will be climbing the Aconguagua at the beginning of February. Aconguagua is the highest peak in the Southern and Western hemispheres, it’s the second highest of the 7 summits that we are tackling. This is probably the highest range we have embarked on to date, my team (two Italians, an English man, an Indian and an Arab – there’s a joke in here somewhere) and I have been in training for this for over two years, since I joined Polycom.
To get ourselves match fit, we train for up to 6 /7 hours a week – usually a 10km run first thing – in the cold, dark and wet mornings; endurance and strength training in the gym, and then to break it up some tennis. In fact it is doubtful I would have been able to train to this level, if I didn’t have access to video solutions because traveling can sometimes interfere with the regime. So with all that preparation, I think we are as ready physically as we will ever be. As with any climb you also need to be prepared mentally, to anticipate a level of anxiety, to have respect for the mountain you are climbing, and to ensure you do everything possible to stay focused and alert before and during the climb.
I often liken my serious climbs to the peaks and troughs in business. As a climber or business man you have to respect the fear and anxiety that hits you when the going gets a little tough. It’s natural to feel that when you are about to embark on the unexpected or even if you step out of your comfort zone. The best way to tackle this fear is to embrace it, use it and turn it into something positive. What’s fundamental to the success of overcoming those fears, is to ensure that you have the right team around you, with the right mindset – those willing to step outside their comfort zone, then you are halfway there.
Recently at Polycom, and following our acquisition, there has been a period of change as you expect when new owners start to steer the ship. These changes are nothing but positive and necessary in my mind, as they have been taken for the good of the company, employees and customers. We remain fully committed to deliver best in class video and audio solutions and have a long term strategy and plan in place to enable us to do that.
My key take away piece of advice, if you come prepared with the right mindset, team and tools in place you can overcome anything – except of course the weather, unfortunately we can’t do anything about that!