People sometimes look at my adventures and think that the expeditions I take part in are just a hobby, but they are much more than that.

I have learned so much about how people respond to tough situations, work together and respond to different situations that is directly transferable to the business environment.

The difference is that if you get things wrong when people’s lives depend on your actions it is really critical. However, in a business environment, getting things wrong can be just as important to keep the organisation in good health and ensure that the people who work in the organisation have the security of a future and feel that they are of value.

On a recent expedition guided by local mountain leaders we aimed to climb a 4,000m Swiss peak in a day. It was a big challenge, but we were well equipped, mentally prepared and, after a week in the mountains, acclimatised to the altitude.

We rose at 3am, hurried a basic breakfast and set off into the dark and brutal cold. We made good progress across the glacier avoiding the crevasses and began our attack on the mountain. A look left and right made it obvious though that we weren’t the only team aiming for the summit, but a little competition is always good to spur people on!

After two hours of grinding work our mountain leader called a team meeting. His experience said that if we carried on in about four hours we would reach a hazardous ledge at the same time as the other teams. We would be exposed to a 1,000m drop in a situation battered by wind and weather with nowhere to secure our ropes. To wait on the ledge while the other teams climbed on would present great danger.

After a brief team discussion we agreed an alternative route. Retracing our steps down the mountain we passed our starting point at 7am and headed for the new approach. After eight more hours of climbing we reached our goal, tired but successful.

It’s no different in business, if you set off in on a route which you find blocked, critically dangerous or just wrong do not be afraid to stop, take stock and reconsider. Use all of the skills and knowledge in the team to build an alternative plan. The best leaders show that the objective is not to push on and ignore the difficulties, but to get the team to the goal successfully – and to enjoy the journey.

If I can help your leaders to succeed from the conference platform please get in touch and discuss the goals you want to achieve.