Remove the Obstacles

Sydney missed the ski season this year due to lockdown but the ski slopes are beautiful in Summer too.

Some years ago, we holidayed in Summer at the NSW ski resort town of Perisher. There was no snow, just beautiful walks and scenery, and peace and quiet. We took the kids to the Perisher Front Valley which in a normal winter is packed with skiers learning to ski or taking off for more adventurous ski runs in adjoining valleys.

That summer, faced with a big grassy hill, the kids did what all children do. They started to run up. They soon slowed to a walking pace, and at the first crest about a quarter of the way up, they stopped. After a quick frolic at that height, they linked arms and ran back down singing and having a ball.

The next winter we were wonderfully excited to be able to take the kids skiing. What a different experience they were to have. We booked them into ski school as we knew we didn’t have the expertise to teach them well, and it freed us up to concentrate on our own skiing for a short time.

This time instead of having to walk up Front Valley they were able to start on the ‘magic carpet’ that pulls them up a short way to practice their skills. By the time they had completed their lessons they could take the chairlift to the top of the mountain and ski down from the top. My heart was in my mouth when I saw it, but they were very capable because they had been taught well and had practiced on the shorter lifts first.

I don’t know how many times they went up on the chairlift and back down, but I do believe they “got their money’s worth” as we say in our family.

Does your organisation have a chairlift to take your people to the top of the mountain or are you happy to let them walk and puff out part way? Have you given them the skills to ski down when they get to the top or are you risking a crash? Are you measuring how well your team skis the mountain to “get your money’s worth”?

Give your team the right systems, skills and opportunities, and they’ll be grinning with exhilaration.