Who wants to follow a captain who would panic at the first sight of crisis or even worse – bail on their ship?
Seems no matter who it is that inspires us most; the common trait they all possess is what’s referred to as relaxed intensity.
This is a person who is calm through a storm, and can maintain their composure through most challenging times.
Imagine a commercial pilot coming on the intercom and freaking out when experiencing a little turbulence. The entire crew and passengers would become immediately concerned as well.
The key is to keep calm, hang on and inspire others to follow suit. This is the sign of a true leader.
Enter our hero – Pem Sherpa.
Pem is a young, bright-eyed boy who falls in love with a special girl from the other side of the mountain in a village that holds different religious beliefs than his own. Their love resembles a modern day Romeo and Juliet story as they were forbidden to date one another because one was Buddhist and the other Hindu.
As time drew nearer to when the parents of the love of his life were to marry her off in an arranged ceremony, he takes her by the hand and points to the top of Mt. Everest.
“Do we agree that this mountain is the one true god that both our families believe in?”
With an affirmative response, they set off on a journey of a lifetime and begin to climb the mountain.
As they summit the peak, they remove their oxygen masks and become the first couple in history to exchange their vows on the top of Mt. Everest. (A feat that has never been repeated)
Soon, excitement grew to concern, as most people know that it’s the way down the mountain that holds the most danger.
Within minutes, Pem’s newfound bride becomes blinded by the snow’s reflection and she loses her sight.
Guiding her down by his side, it would be easy to lose one’s nerve, but not Pem. He remains calm under this unforeseen pressure, showing relaxed intensity in action.
The bride’s vision thankfully returns as they reach the landing spot where the Life Flight helicopter will land to return them to safety.
Then tragedy strikes.
With a gust of wind, the aircraft crashes into the mountain among the jagged edges and falls before them.
Remaining calm, Pem and his bride pull the crew from the broken craft. Pem being the tremendous leader he is, keeps everyone together and assures them help is on its way. Together they – Pem, his bride, and the crew – await the next helicopter to bring them down to safety.
If this story were not true what happens next would make the tale unbelievable.
When the second helicopter lands a roar of happiness breaks out among the group, until they realize that this second crew, here to rescue them, had fallen ill due to altitude sickness.
Basically, the first crew had to rescue the second crew that was there to rescue the climbers.
Point is – no one lost their cool.
They all knew the risks and remained composed and focused on the situations at hand.
In this case, owning and maintaining a relaxed intensity is what kept everyone confident.
Once Pem and his wife made it to back to basecamp they fled to America where they have enjoyed many years together and have started a family of their own. Since then Pem has made a career out of his experiences and now guides groups of people along the same treks he once conquered.
As one can imagine, life is series of challenges and obstacles. The key is to understand that we learn more from someone on one bad day than on all their good days together. It’s easy to be happy-go-lucky when things go your way, yet it’s when the chips are down that we discover someone’s character.
How do you as a leader demonstrate relaxed intensity? Let us know in the comments below.
– Greg S. Reid is a filmmaker, motivational speaker, and best-selling author. His newest book is Think and Grow Rich: “Stickability.” He is also an entrepreneur, and the CEO of several successful corporations, who has dedicated his life to helping others achieve the ultimate fulfillment of finding and living a life of purpose.Learn more about relaxed intensity and Pem’s story, along with other great leaders of today, by visiting www.Stick-ability.com.
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