Sep 7

“…and Find I´m King of the Hill…”

Stephan Polomski
Stephan Polomski is director human resources, coach and trainer

When Frank Sinatra sang these lines, he meant New York and his career path – to be a number one, top of the list – just the feeling of having it achieved to be at the summit and celebrate oneself happily and loudly. – When Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was experiencing the feeling of standing on a mountain top he wrote about absolute silence, breathlessness and finiteness in his famous poem wanderer´s nightsong “Above all hilltops there is quiet.”

The upcoming week, I will hold a leadership workshop of my company in South Tyrol, in Barbiano, which is in the Italian Alps close to the Dolomites. The topic of this workshop will be: “I myself as a leader”. On the first day, we will start the program with a guided walking-tour – of course on a hilltop – and then work on the transfer into business the next two days. I am very excited and curious about it, as I am not a mountaineer and as it´s the first time, that I am doing a leadership training in the middle of the mountains together with a professional mountaineer.

As the mountaineer, I myself as a leader have to focus on my objective and I have to have the image of myself being already there – on the top – already in my heart as the first place, where the motivation for it is born and where the motivation finds energy to keep me going even when times are hard – basically to sing Sinatra´s song.

And as the mountaineer, I myself as a leader have to focus on my own and innermost resources, the emotional ones and the physical ones, in order to keep my inner balance and my awareness and positive attitude – basically to sing Goethe´s song.

I have to focus on how and what I perceive, in order to come to suitable conclusions – for the contexts I am in and for the people I am with. As a mountaineer and as a leader.

And my conclusions are the basis for my interaction, which comes next, and which is the proof for my promises: do I really walk my talk? As a mountaineer I would say, I rather trust a secure and experienced hand, than a word spoken in the wind. The focus here is on acting, performing, striving for success – and if I finally find I´m king of the hill: I will celebrate! Sing the song of life enjoying my moment of excellence!

And finally, back in the valley (or in my office), in a moment of distance, I have to reflect myself, my actions and sometimes look for feedback and the circle will start again with my own constitution: mentally, emotionally, physically focusing on a new objective called challenge.

And this is how we will start the first day heading to the mountain top. It all starts inside ourselves. Inside, where mountains are higher and challenges are tougher than Everest or K2. Only, that the mountains outside ourselves help us to facilitate our climbing inside. It helps to feel the intensity what it means to be myself just in the moment when I overcome my own limits because I let loose fear and courageously head to my objective. And happy the moment is, if I can share this experience with and in a team – in resonance.

And what is it, that mountaineers as well as managers are asking, when they are performing? What am I able to achieve? And what about the others? Why do humans want to achieve something and when? Where are the limits? Where had been the limits, and can we move them? What are the reasons for the fact, that some of us accept narrow limits, self-imprisonment and others try to overcome limits, try to overcome restrictions, try to overcome boundaries sometimes their whole life – heading to freedom? Freedom for oneself, freedom for those around. What do I earn when I am doing this? What is the price, I have to pay, when I am doing this? What do I risk? For myself? For others? And what does it mean to be responsible leading a team under uppermost impacts? How do performance, leadership and limits determine each other?

And once again, leading and mountaineering, I have to keep the balance in between what Sinatra and what Goethe sing out, on the one hand, determination and action and on the other hand, reflection and mediation. Yin and Yang.

And this is what unites leaders and monks, mountaineers and artists and all those, who follow their call, their heart´s desire: all these searchers watch out for the summit, the peak they believe in, all seek that feeling of achievement and satisfaction, of intensity and inspiration.

All are attracted by the tops of this world and may be of a world beyond, whatever these tops may signify for the individual on the path of experience climbing up, leading oneself and may be others.

When on Thursday next week we will experience the feeling to be on the top of the Dolomites, finding ourselves kings of the hills around, I will ask my managers to ask themselves:

Looking South – what is my heart´s true desire?

Looking West – what shall I do for my body to keep it healthy?

Looking East – what shall I do for my mind to keep my thoughts clear?

Looking North – what shall I do for my intuition to develop?

Looking to myself – what present will I receive then inside my centre?

This entry was posted on Monday, September 7th, 2009 at 22:16 and is filed under Human Resources, Leadership. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

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