I listened with fascination as a person I know recounted her journey to climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro – the highest mountain in Africa. It was an arduous journey but she made it all the way to the summit – thanks in large measure to those who accompanied her. The Tanzanian government recognized that the journey is difficult and dangerous so required each climber to be assigned five porters to help them.

What a beautiful model to follow when you are working on a difficult project on the ground. No one would consider climbing without a team –why do we assume that people will be able to achieve their goal alone instead of providing them with ample support? If you are the supervisor, you can instill it as a norm that challenging projects receive extra person-power to aid in completion. The mountain climbers would have never made it to the top without the assistance of the porters. Don’t leave your staff to navigate the heavy-lift without the resources to get there.

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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