Jaime Viñals, a Guatemalan mountaineer who has set milestones in the region, explains how Resilience is an ability and a powerful way to face the challenges of an increasingly interconnected and communicated world.
He was the first Central American to climb Mount Everest, the highest peak on the planet, and the only male mountaineer in the region to have reached the Seven Summits, the highest mountains on each of the seven continents. Now, he translates his experience to the business world and gives us two unique insights on the advantages of strengthening the ability we have to access higher levels of adaptation and positively influence society, under the protection of what he experienced in one of his expeditions when climbing Mount Cho Oyu (8,201 meters of altitude), in the Himalayas mountain range.
The Key to Life
In life, as in the mountains, we usually find circumstances that force us to be resilient to solve any unforeseen situation that may affect us. Resilience is an integral part of the vision of the new leadership in the new world order: from global to regional to local. It implies knowing to resist and remain, adapt and not conform, prepare to face adversity and recover quickly, transforming the reality that generated the crisis. It begins with your own commitment to being excellent at work and with your family, inclusive, and building trust.
It also contemplates establishing strategic alliances, being willing to change paradigms and being creative, innovative and a good communicator, as well as collaborative and generous to help the entire human team to which we owe ourselves.
Leadership is not a position, but action. It consists of motivating and empowering all team members in their role and ability to execute and achieve the goals set. It involves anticipating, improvising, and having a flexible and timely strategy.
He narrates the story
“On that expedition I was with 3 more people. At week 4 we advanced from camp III (6,900 meters) to camp IV (7,600 meters), the stage of supplying harness, food and equipment. After seven hours of climbing (around 11:00 a.m.) the mountain and our surroundings were cloudy; suddenly, a terrible snowfall began that would last for several days”.
“That forced us to improvise a camp to take refuge. As good foresters, we always carry a small emergency tent inside our backpack. Almost unconsciously, without talking much to each other, we installed it in a matter of 10 minutes. In order not to make a long story, I can say that we were forced to stay inside it for 8 days (24 hours a day), lashed by the deafening noise of the strong wind that hit the walls of the tent. In addition, as we were in a very small space (4 adults in a 1.5 m2 area), we did not have the possibility of moving a lot we could not even go out to do our physiological needs. In these precarious conditions we learned about resilience”.
“Given the terrible weather conditions, we had to remain calm, knowing that the storm should end at some point, knowing that these types of expeditions are long-term, so these unwanted situations are to be expected, for which we had enough dehydrated food and stove to melt ice and snow to get water and hydrate ourselves. We psych ourselves up not to let ourselves be defeated and we support each other with words of encouragement, appealing to patience and discipline”.
“We understood that our greatest wealth was diversity, the different qualities and aptitudes of each one, and we put them at the service of the group, aimed at the same goal: to survive the storm and then reach the top of that mountain. Actually, we were all leaders in order to reach that goal”.