Lessons Learned Skiing- AKA Trust the expert.
I ski. I love snow and the peace of a ski trail all to myself. There is a beauty and a calm found in the mountains. But, as much as I love to ski, and as much as I’d love to say “I only ski blacks” it isn’t true. I’m still a beginner to intermediate skier.
Not too many years ago I needed to learn how to ski again since it had been YEARS since I’d even attempted to glide down the hill. I faithfully took the beginner ski lessons and learned to “pizza” my way down the bunny slope. –Now, let me take a side step here and mention that one of my knees is weak from a past injury.– In my attempt to wedge (aka- pizza) down the hill I was pulling my knees in too much and really causing a strain on my weak knee. It was a warm day and I was over-dressed for the jaunt down the hill with my ski-class and very tired from all the skiing. So, needless to say, I fell.
My problem? I was unable to get back upright on my skis (my knee was killing me), too tired and dehydrated to make the walk down while lugging my skis (I was more than halfway up the mountain), and I am not skilled enough to try and go down the mountain myself. Thank God the instructor was there to help me up, but the fact that my knee was killing me really kept me from being able to do much.
The solution? The ski instructor told me to trust him. Trust- that’s a BIG word- particularly for a man I had just met that morning. So, with LOTS of trepidation, I put my trust in “Mr. Ski Instructor” (and, to be honest, probably trusted him because I didn’t have much of a choice). He put our ski poles parallel in front of me making a “bar” for me to hold onto with stiff arms while he skied backward guiding me down the mountain. Man, he wasn’t kidding when he said it would require trust! The man was skiing “blind” and backward! But, you know what? We not only got down the hill safely but in a short amount of time. Why? Because he knew what he was doing. He knew the hill so well he could easily and safely ski it backward!
Now, I’m sure you’re thinking “What does this have to do with business?” Well, let me tell you in one word. Trust. I believe that many times in business we are slow to trust others to do what they do best. Slow to trust ourselves and our own abilities.
Trust requires risk. Sometimes that risk is simply taking a leap of faith and trusting our own ideas, and other times (this one is admittedly much harder for me) it is relinquishing control over every detail to someone else who is better suited for the task. Think about those you work with, what are their strengths? What can you do to help them become so strong at their functions that they can “ski backward blind?” I don’t know about you, but that thought challenges me.
Action: Who can you trust with more responsibility? Write their name down and make a plan to act.
Final Thought: Sometimes the simple act of trust can give wings to an idea.Tags: business, marketing, responsibility, reward, risk, thoughts, trust