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Interview with Eric Edmeades

Eric Edmeades is an entrepreneur and business speaker. He runs annual leadership programs up Kilimanjaro. We have conducted an interview with him:


This is your fifth time climbing Kilimanjaro; what made you make it the central theme of your leadership program?

Climbing Kilimanjaro is on many people's bucket list. It is a serious challenge but not a technical one -- the difference between success and failure is much more mental then it is physical; which is also true for business.

In the week it takes to climb Kili, people will experience a variety of emotional ups and downs -- perhaps the same variety as they would normally experience in a year. This creates an interesting environment for people to get to know themselves; to try out new strategies for personal and team leadership and test them in pretty challenging circumstances. Then, when they are back at home, the ideas we learn are not theoretical -- they are practical.

What do people generally say about the trip after-the-fact?

It is interesting. Before, people are excited and nervous. During, they range from depressed to elated. After, they are relieved and celebratory. Much after, they are unbelievably grateful for the perspectives, great friendships and life experiences they have gained.

There is also a video, on YouTube, of some of our clients talking about the program while still on the mountain -- that is worth seeing -- they are making those comments within hours of achieving one of the most difficult things they have ever done.

You are business consultant and entrepreneur -- you help companies increase their sales by as much as double at times. Doesn't that sometimes cause problems -- can your clients always handle the increased business without stressing their company too much?

That is a great question. The fact is that improving a company's sales is hardly ever the hard part -- preparing them for the increased traffic is. But from a marketing perspective, if you tell people that you are going to help them improve their business systems, all they see are costs. They want to hear about improved sales -- so that is where our marketing focus is. But the truth is that a significant amount of my focus with clients is to prepare them for growth so that they can handle significant growth without stressing their company or putting it at risk.

What is the number one leadership tip that you have for business owners or managers?

It all starts with managing your own state of mind. How can you direct or manage others and their emotions if you have not figured out how to deal with your own. And more to the point, learning how to manage your state of mind when everything is going wrong -- your people (clients, suppliers, bankers, investors and staff) are looking for certainty and it is up to you to provide it. If you lose your head easily, or when times are tough, then you are leading people in the wrong direction.

If climbing the mountain can teach your customers about leadership, can your leadership program also teach them about climbing successfully?

Of course. I have read that only about a third of the people who set out for the summit of Kilimanjaro ever get there -- we have been fortunate enough to average almost 90% of our people over all of our trips and, this year, our entire group made it to the summit - 100%.

We have been lucky, well organized, well prepared and mentally primed. All of this makes a massive difference whether you are talking about managing a company or climbing a mountain.

More information about Eric Edmeades at:

Interview with Eric Edmeades Reviewed by JaamZIN on 11:39:00 PM Rating: 5
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