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For his August 2005 feature as Leader of the Month, Dr. Paul Stoltz was asked to share his metaphor for leadership. His response follows:
The analogy I have always used, beginning even before I started PEAK Learning in 1987, would be the analogy of the mountain because I believe, in the simplest of terms in life, there are quitters, a lot of campers, and climbers. When I say climbers I am not referring to the people who are climbing over everyone and everything to get the next promotion but to people who are continually compelled to move up and forward in their lives. These are the people who strive to be better people and learn and grow and improve until their final breath. I use that analogy of the mountain in just about everything I do. When you talk about the big difference between managers and leaders, a thought about campground rangers and lead climbers comes to mind. A lot of the people who call themselves leaders are really campground rangers. They kind of walk around the campground and tell stories and make sure everyone is in the right place, following procedures and rules, that lights are out at the right time and all that stuff. Lead climbers, on the other hand, are the leaders who are really carving out new routes and trying to really forge the team to take on increased possibilities and new territory and expand their capacities and capability to really do great things. Lead climbers are obsessed with things like impact and contribution and legacy and significance as opposed to numbers and incremental improvements. They really want to make a mark and help people do that.
The Leader Network offers the Leader Resource Spotlight feature as a forum to highlight resources and opportunities that exist for leaders. You are invited to view recent Leader Resource Spotlight features to aid you in honing your climbing skills.