Beyond the Summit: Setting and Surpassing Extraordinary Business Goals

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Penguin, Oct 27, 2003 - Business & Economics - 208 pages
World-class rock climber Todd Skinner is also one of today's most sought-after motivational speakers for business audiences. Whenever he describes his history-making sixty-day free climb of the 20,500-foot Trango Tower in the Karakoram Himalayas (shown on the jacket), people are in awe of his stamina, skill, ambition, and determination. They are also eager to apply his lessons in their professional and personal lives. 

Skinner argues that everyone has a mountain to climb, whether it's meeting your annual sales target or launching a new product or getting your department to improve its teamwork. And he stresses that you should set your goals even higher than you normally would, and constantly look beyond the current summit to the next one. For instance, instead of aiming for 10 percent revenue growth, go after a seemingly impossible 50 percent target, and then think of new ways to get there. 

In both rock climbing and business, you must define your exact mission, assemble the right team, make the critical transition from preparation to action, have courage when crossing difficult terrain, and weather the storms well. Skinner offers fresh insights into all of these topics and explains principles such as: 
  • how you think is more important than what you know 
  • pick teammates for what they will do, not what they have already done 
  • make decisions in answer to the mountain 
  • fall toward the summit 
  • see each challenge as part of a bigger picture, your lifelong ascent
Beyond the Summit presents fresh and inspiring advice on leadership, teamwork, and decision-making skills, combined with an epic adventure tale.

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1 You are a product of your mountains
2 True success means more than standing on the summit
3 Choose the path of greatest gain
4 First the dream
5 Assume the sensational pursue the impossible
6 When you journey off the map how you think is more important than what you know
7 Define your mission
8 If you leave the summit point out of your equation you are guaranteed to drift
22 Living with the difficulties makes you at home in the extreme
23 The more unyielding the mountain is the more flexible the leadership model must become
24 Decisions are made in answer to the mountain
25 Falling is not failing
26 Always fall toward the summit
27 You cant dodge a rock until it falls
28 There will always be storms on a mountain
29 If your focus remains on the summit you can go left or right or even down in order to eventually arrive there

9 Always measure your progress and your resources from the summit instead of the base
10 Carry a photo of the mountain as seen from the plains
11 The mountain doesnt give a damn about your résumé
12 Without hunger both skill and experience will remain in base camp
13 There is nothing more dangerous than a moderate mountain
14 Only an ultimate mountain can forge an ultimate team
15 The only guidebook to your mountain is the one you will write
16 The best plan is the one that works
17 If you are not afraid you have probably chosen too easy a mountain
18 The specter of the mountain can loom larger than the mountain itself
19 What you do not know the mountain will teach you
20 To succeed you have to be willing to risk failure
21 You cannot lower the mountain so you must raise yourself
30 Its not the severity or duration but how you weather a storm that counts
31 Momentum is a state of mind
32 The greatest gain on a mountain comes not from the first 90 percent but in finishing the last 10
33 Dont ask if reaching the summit is possible ask if it is impossible
34 Improvisation and adaptability in the end can be your most valuable resources
35 Each mountain is made up of rope lengths and each rope length is made up of single steps
36 If you can take one step you can take one more
37 The summit is made up of all the shoulders you stand upon
38 At the summit you can recognize how far you have come
39 The summit may be the end of the climb but it isnt the end of your ascent
40 Look beyond the summit to envision where you can go

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About the author (2003)

Todd Skinner, a Wyoming native, has established new climbs at the highest levels of difficulty in more than twenty-six countries. His experiences have been described in National Geographic and Life, and his expeditions to places as exotic as the Amazon and Timbuktu have been featured in nine documentaries. He is also a popular speaker at business events around the country.

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