• Tara Humphrey

Leadership and Project Management Lessons from Kilimanjaro (After the Climb)

On Sunday 26th March I returned from a trip to Tanzania where I climbed Mount Killimanjaro, and the trip was AMAZING!!!!

Before I embarked on the trip, I shared some of the reflections which can be related to project management. Check out the full blog here.

Now I'm back from above the clouds and recovered, here are some of the Leadership and Project Management lessons I took from the trip.

Be Kind and Considerate

Despite our group only having 16 members, we had a porter crew of 63! YES, 63!!We had teams of cooks, camp managers, toilet attendants, porters carrying our bags, the tents and other camping equipment and food, and water technicians. Each and every one had a role, and they made our trip simply fantastic. They were so kind, considerate, supportive, encouraging, friendly and polite to each other and to us, especially when times were difficult.

Nothing we asked of them was too big or little for their help, and they always made time for us.

Give Clear Communications

Dave was our trek leader, and this was only the 2nd time he had facilitated a Kilimanjaro climb (but he did have an army background). Every evening we had a quick debrief on how the day had gone, and he gave us an outline for the next day. It was immensely simple and helpful and gave us a bit of structure for what lay ahead, and when Dave didn't know something, he simply said he didn’t know. No waffle, just simply “ I'm not sure, let’s see on the day or I’ll ask one of the crew”.

Be Prepared (but in moderation)

Even though the trek organisers provided us with a very thorough kit list, in reality, we didn’t need half of it.  While the saying, ‘if you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail' obviously has some merit,  I think in our daily lives, preparing for all eventualities can in fact slow progress, serve as a distraction from the task at hand and create unnecessary stress.

In a work context, yes be mindful of the risks and what you need to have a good and productive day, but, less can be better.

I know these reflections aren’t earth shattering, are incredibly simple and are things you knew already, but I honestly believe that if we could all be; a bit more kind and considerate, give simple and clear instructions and be more thoughtful about what it really is we need to have a happy and productive day,  things would sure be a bit more fun and we would get a lot more done 😊