The Leadership High An opportunity born from challenge
I've found a way to use challenge as performance fuel and turn obstacles into opportunities – it all started with a moment of total self-belief on a mountain.Sarah MacDonald, Founder
Fear, anxiety and “I can’t, I won’t” can be a normal part of life. After all, our brain is designed to scan for threat and danger. It’s a basic survival mechanism to protect us and keep us safe.
My greatest fear has always been skiing. I've put myself through trembling on the mountain top, burning legs, tears, negative thoughts and many falls. That all changed in the beautiful Pyrenees in 2018. Duncan my ski instructor, had been really listening to me, paying more attention to my mindset than to my physical ski techniques, and I felt like I was progressing. Mid-week, I headed out early, first on the lifts, with quiet slopes and perfect weather. My calmness dissipated when Duncan said we were heading up to the top of the red run, and the usual negative self-talk kicked in. But before we set off, he said: “You’ve got this, just follow my line”.
I can only describe the next five minutes as total euphoria. Everything felt like it just came together in that moment. The feeling was so intense, so utterly overwhelming, it was like I was flying. Everything I’d experienced over so many years suddenly seemed to count. I trusted Duncan and, importantly, I trusted myself. I realised that none of the struggle over the years was a waste of time, and recognising that had an immediate and profound impact on me. I wanted to bottle ‘that high’ and sprinkle it in all areas of my life. I felt stronger mentally than I had in a long time. I believed in myself. I was confident. I knew I needed to do something with this powerful experience. So, on that very same day, on that special mountain, The Leadership High was born.
Joining forces with my business partner Lara Milward was a turning point. We've both experienced the impact of physical challenge on our overall performance and we wanted to explore the effect this could have on leaders and teams in the workplace.
Everyone is a leader in their own life.
Better leaders are emotionally agile, empathic and trusting.
Challenge is fundamental to growth.
Confidence is like a physical muscle, it gets strengthened by use.
Developing a relationship with your brain helps you understand yourself and others.
Physical challenge is the best way to understand your mind and body.