Werner Berger – Growth is Found Outside the Comfort Zone
At a conference, as an adult well into his life, Werner Berger considered the 3 things he’d like to do before he died. Though Berger possed no mountaineer experience, he wanted to climb Kilimanjaro, the Matterhorn, and to travel to Everest’s base camp.
Fascinated by Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary’s summit of Everest, Werner always possessed a desire to climb mountains. To date, Werner is the oldest person to complete the 7 summits.
Growth—” You have to get out of your comfort zone. Especially doing something that’s thrilling, exciting or a little bit scary.”
That’s where one grows according to Werner. Pushing past what’s impossible. Development and growth come from setting an intention to do something rigorous Next, pushing beyond what’s possible and being blown away by what you, your body and your team accomplish on a mountain.
Werner working as a corporate trainer/consultant noticed that despite the quality and immediate feedback from training, 6 months later, nothing had changed. The same was true with corporate leaders.
Empathy and Confidence
Because mountain climbing requires teams…relationships take over. “You can’t just train leaders, leaders require development.” Using a mountain like Kilimanjaro leaders acquire 2 things. First, a knowledge of one’s self, strengths and weaknesses are more apparent when pushed into the growth zone. Knowing what is possible creates confidence and an assertive attitude. Second, empathy, great leaders understand their team’s individual needs. Learning trust building, removing judgment, and caring for people allows the leader perspective. That perspective reveals the path that reveals what any team member requires to contribute towards accomplishing the goal.
“Shifts in being”
First, Growth occurs incrementally on the mountain; moment by moment, step by step. Second, each challenge collects payment in grit, progress and patience. Each of these payments when coupled with training, whether it’s management, customer service etc, unlocks greater performance. Finally, the developed leader has equipped themselves to perform whether it’s in the community, the company, or the individual with a clearer vision for the path.