Lessons in Leadership from the Trail

Lead From the Front

Take charge and explain where you are going with detailed instructions on how to handle likely situations. In doing so you appear open and willing to communicate, considerate of the task at hand, and confident – a leader!

Pack Extra Water

Part of leading the group involves retrospection over our own experiences in order to help the group avoid mistakes. Staples like water can be easily overlooked by someone who has only ever gotten it from the tap or plastic bottle. Sometimes different backgrounds can yield completely tangential perspectives.

Look Back and Fall Back

Sometimes being the leader means we actually are the strongest, fastest, or best suited. From my experience, a good way to approach this is to consider that I have been given an ability not only so that I can finish first, but also to share the experience with others. By taking time to look back and offer a hand I get to actively help the whole group have a better hike.

Let Your Followers Follow

Conversely to the previous point, if I spend the whole hike looking back and helping everyone we won’t get anywhere! There is a balance, of course, but part of why people hike is to overcome obstacles themselves and gain a sense of achievement.