Business Survival Lessons from Hiking Mountain Trails: Bear Alert Be Prepared


Did you bring your bear whistle?

Ok, sounds silly or maybe not! I live in the mountains with trails galore and feel blessed to have the wide open at my daily call. My favorite time to hike is early morning before starting my work day. It’s the time I practice meditation, gratitude and affirmations. But yesterday my husband and I decided to do a very early morning strenuous hike up a mountain trail. This was a new nine mile hike.

Black bear are prevalent in our neck of the woods, heck, in our neighborhood as a matter of fact. After our first sighting of bear(s) in our yard, momma and 3 babies, I immediately shopped Amazon Prime (because everything needed is most likely on Amazon) and bought bear pepper spray and whistles (known to scare bears off). We were well planned for any hike deep in the bear infested woods. OR WERE WE?

About 1.5 five into our above mentioned hike, I reached for my water bottle and realized the two things I should have had with me I did not have; bear pepper spray and/or my bear whistle. What is my point here? We are CEO’s leading our businesses into unchartered waters. We feel we have all the tools but but where are they now? How are you using your own survival strategies? Where is your protection and survival of the fittest go-to-team?

3 Things To Have at Your Hands In These Continued Uncertain Times:

  1. Your person go-to advisory teams to bounce off ideas, here what they are doing, share lessons learned and gather deeper insights. I always recommend you have an inside team of go to insight drivers and an outside group of peers and/or advisors. Not just your board. They too, become so close to your business that it’s hard to ensure outside perspectives.
  2. Scenario Strategies: maybe you feel good about your pivot strategy and you are starting to implement this strategy now. GREAT!! But how many “what if” scenario’s have you planned for in your strategies. Today, one feel good strategy may not be enough, you may need to pivot three or four times before things settle into new normals.
  3. Personal Health and Safety: As leaders, we are not doing anyone good if we are not healthy ourselves, staying mentally aware, alert and ready for anything.
  • Yes it’s scary to go to a doctor’s office for wellness checkups but don’t let your health suffer on one end trying to protect yourself from Covid-19.
  • Meditate, keep a gratitude journal, take hikes on the beach or the woods.
  • Promote wellbeing with your organization. If they are also healthy you will be healthy as will your company.

Keep your pepper spray and/or your bear whistle with you at all times. We do not have control on when they show up, we do have control on how prepared we are if they do show up. Metaphor for life!

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