The title of this blog article is one of my favorite sayings of all time, and I first came across it while reading the tiny scroll inside a fortune cookie from the little Chinese food place down the street. I have never climbed a mountain, but I’ve heard stories from people who have, and I know it’s a lot of work. You don’t just wake up on top; you have to earn your way there. While we're talking about mountains, this is true for being the executive of a company, as well. For you to be successful, effort must be exerted.
When you’re standing at the summit of your organization, your employees are looking up to you to lead them. They want to believe in what you believe in and help you achieve greatness for the company. So share the vision! Too often organizations don’t share their view with the rest of the company, and if they do, they do it once or twice and don’t put policies in place to reflect it and hold employees accountable to it. Repetition is key to making sure your message is understood. If you only tell your team what the future of the company looks like and why one time then never mention it again, they will forget your message and lose their enthusiasm to help drive those results. Eat, sleep, and breathe your vision so employees can look to you for examples of how they too can exude wanted behaviors.
As the head of your organization, your team, and even members of outside organizations are looking at you as a role model. Not just about how you represent your company’s vision on a daily basis, but to learn how you got to where you are. Being successful means that people will want to have what you have, not just regarding physical possessions but also in internal qualities and traits that brought you success in the first place. Think about how you want to be viewed and portray yourself in that manner. Occasionally ask for feedback to see if how you think people see you is accurate then adjust as necessary.
It takes a lot of dedication, endurance, and patience to climb to the top of the mountain you’re ascending. But the hard work doesn’t stop once you reach the summit. Ensuring that you’re representing yourself and your company in a positive manner that aligns with the organization’s vision and how you want others to see you takes consistency in communication and behaviors. The work that you put into all of this will pay dividends by your company and employee success.