Lessons for the modern leader: Bo Parfet

Bo Parfet provides some real insight that he gained on his mountaineering expeditions around the world in his book. He also draws on his experiences some very important lessons that modern leaders can benefit a lot from. Let us explore some of the lessons Bo presents modern leaders.

Bo starts by talking about the need for a team. He says that building a team is the most important thing that one needs to do if they intend to achieve any level of greatness in the world. Bo talks of how he could have not been able to reach the highest summits in the world without his team. His team was dedicated and amazing at their work.

Bo states that just like in mountaineering, one needs a dedicated team in business to propel them from one level to another to achieve greatness. One should expect some stumbles and losses along the way but if the team shares the same motivation, then success is guaranteed. Let us take a look at additional lessons that Bo provides to modern-era leaders.

Be prepared

Bo says that he was able to learn a lot about being prepared from climbing mountains. Being prepared makes the difference between life and death in mountaineering just like it does in business too. Statistically, out of every nine people, one dies on Mount Everest. Most of these people are usually prepared adequately physically, but what they fail to prepared for is the mental and emotional pressure that comes with climbing a mountain. Bo prepared several months in advance for his first expedition. He trained several hours every day of the week nonstop until he went on his expedition. He performed 15-hour climbs while fasting or with only little food to test his physical and mental capability. Since climbing involves extremely cold conditions, Bo would take a cold shower and run around his block to prepare his body to fight against hypothermia. His preparation was extreme, but he says that it takes such kind of extreme preparation to achieve success.

Be authentic and trustworthy

Many businesses have failed because people who ran them stopped being true to the mission or the people who were there during the infancy stages. Getting to the top tends to make people to forget how they got there, but it is important to do so. One should remain authentic and true to the people and mission that got them to the top, according to Bo. A leader should always show up for his team regardless of the circumstances. Learning not to give excuses when you are supposed to be there for your team is poor leadership and strong leaders don’t do that.

Persevere despite adversity

No great achievement comes minus great adversity. As a leader learning to deal with and persevere adversity makes for a great leader. Bo had dyslexia but still managed to become a successful investment banker; he managed to continue with his journey up the mountain even after his teammate died on the way because he wanted to honor him; and lastly, he had to persevere after his own teacher told his mother that she didn’t believe Bo would graduate high school. A great leader perseveres.