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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Lessons learned from climbing and skills applied to business

Mike Moniz, our CEO here at Circadence recently did something that very few others have... he summited Mt. Everest. Here is an article Mike wrote describing how he applies lessons learned from climbing to business.

By Michael J. Moniz, CEO, Circadence

I am the co-founder, president and CEO of Circadence. We are the leading WAN optimization company relied on by organizations needing additional data transport speed, reliability and consistency. When not in the office, I am an avid alpinist. My son Matthew and I hold the world speed record for our ascent of the 50 highest mountains in the U.S. in 43 days. I have summited five of the Seven Summits, including Mt. Everest and am one of the few individuals to hold the distinction of summiting two 8,000 meter peaks (Mt. Everest 29,029 ft. and Lhotse 27,605 ft.) within 24 hours. If you think one has nothing to do with the other, CEOs, heads of companies and extreme athletes have more in common than most people think and the ability to translate lessons learned from the mountain to the boardroom and vice versa is paramount.

I believe that every significant challenge in life creates a better version of yourself. Those opportunities, threats and obstacles help people learn more about themselves, their team and environment. Effective communications is critical for climbing as well as business. Your life could be saved by listening to your climbing partner who alerts you of a dangerous area. When faced with a business decision, communicating the pros and cons, and collaborating with your colleagues will help with decision making and quick responses to any situation. And, as a leader, it’s my job to ensure the proper tools are in place to consistently evaluate situations or crises and map out a plan.
In high altitude mountaineering, every climb is different; therefore, it is critical to prepare and understand each one. Because of that, it is essential to do your homework - research each mountain, the weather and study the failures of others in order to be prepared. Training will also be different depending on the mountain. In business, it’s no different; we do our research and assess why companies have failed. Having that research in hand gives us a leg up as we work toward success.
Whether I am climbing the largest mountain in the world or completing a major business deal, I truly appreciate the challenge and do not take the risk of either lightly. What the mountains teach us is that if we don't try it, it never happens.

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