Sales Leadership: Climbing Mount Everest


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Climbing Mount Everest takes skills, plans, a strong team and luck. But it’s how people work together that matters the most-just as it does in business. While I was in Hong Kong leading a 2 day sales leadership workshop, I picked up a Chinese newspaper and in the business section there was a large article on this topic. Immediately I knew it would be a good topic for the blog.

The article discussed several deaths that have occurred and how several hiking organizations focus on climbing the mountain and their planning styles. This included an IMAX film team as well as Guide Climb teams. Each had different objectives and styles, but they had common goals. In summary the article reviewed how any organization can use the same concepts these climbing teams used in leading successful organizations and I thought I would share their model and an Assessment to test your current organization.

The writer broke it into four aspects: Goals, Roles of each member, Processes, Interpersonal. This model (GRPI) can improve team efficiency and efficacy by enabling leaders and teams to focus first on the critical actions for strengthening their team instead of rushing into the teams stated task and possibly failing. Planning, effecting setting goals and agreeing on roles is the critical steps that many managers fail.

GRRI: Assessing Your Team


  1. The shared goal is clear and individuals committed: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 (5=high)

1. The work is organized in a way that clearly leads to achieving the team’s goals.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5

  1. Everyone is clear about his/her responsibilities and the job they have to do.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5

  1. There is balanced use of the different Leadership talents. 1,2, 3, 4, 5


  1. Decisions are timely and effective 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
  2. Conflict on the team is addressed openly and constructively. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
  3. The leader monitors team performance and makes adjustments to ensure team and individual performance. 1,2, 3, 4, 5


  1. There is trust in communication and relationships 1, 2,3, 4, 5
  2. Flexibility and creativity are encouraged. 1, 2,3, 4, 5
  3. Capabilities are developed and used. 1, 2, 3,4, 5

Total Score for Your Team: _________

Next time you have a major objective use this process and assessment to ensure success, you don’t want to not achieve your summit! If you want to learn more, check out the book: “Into Thin Air” by Jon Krakauer, an adventure consultant.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Ken Thoreson
Acumen Management Group Ltd. "operationalizes" sales management systems and processes that pull revenue out of the doldrums into the fresh zone. During the past 13 years, our consulting, advisory, and platform services have illuminated, motivated, and rejuvenated the sales efforts for organizations throughout North America.


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