Who Is On Your Rope? Lessons From Jeff Evans And “The Blind Guy” …by Lori A. Mallory
Post written by Lori A. Mallory, CEO of Kansas City Internal Medicine
Last week, I had the honor of hosting a table at the Heart of America Boy Scouts patron luncheon. This event is their annual fundraiser and features a speaker who challenges and reminds us of the courage it takes to be a leader in our homes, community and workplace. It is always downright inspirational.
This year, the speaker was Jeff Evans of Mountain Vision, who you might know as a members on one of the final teams in last year’s summer reality TV hit, “Expedition Impossible-Morocco”. Jeff’s partner was Eric, who is better known as “the blind guy.” (and yes, Eric is legally blind AND a mountain climber!) If you missed it, you can imagine the adventures in the wild that took place. For most of us, it would be downright scary and intimidating. Jeff and Eric however, who are true athletes of nature, make scaling mountains and rivers look reasonably “fun.”
While Jeff’s presentation was full of helpful and inspiring information, the big TAKEAWAY for me was “WHO IS ON YOUR ROPE?” As Jeff shared the details of their ascent of Mount Everest (and many others) we learned that climbers all follow a leader on a rope up many parts of the difficult terrain.
If a climber down the rope stumbles, the leader has the responsibility of stopping the potential domino effect of everyone on the line falling. Every person in the line has a responsibility for remaining calm and thinking through their every move.
For me, the lesson was pretty simple to grasp…WHO IS ON YOUR ROPE? In life, we are all climbing proverbial mountains with our peers in the neighborhood, community and workplace. We need to be sure that those on our rope are selfless, reliable, and have our best interests in mind at all times. We all need advocates, especially when it comes to achieving the optimum health care experience. It is a worthwhile question to ponder.
Jeff ended his presentation with the idea that the view from the top was highly “overrated.” In his estimation of leading and climbing with teams to some of the most premier adventures in the world, the real joy…was in the climb.
As you go through your day-to-day life and look at the ups and downs you face, take note of who is “on your rope” and be sure that your team is as strong as it can be.