November 2, 2014

Mountaintops Inspire Leaders But Valleys Mature Them

Mountaintops Inspire Leaders But Valleys Mature Them
written by Scott Heintzelman

One of my favorite men of history is Winston Churchill and he had numerous great quotes including the title of this blog post - "Mountaintops inspire leaders but valleys mature them."

I recently received Phil Clemens “April Thought for the Month” and thought his words coupled with some wonderful quotes from Winston Churchill may be valuable to share with others at this time. I know many organizations are still feeling the impact of the recession and feel like they are in the “Valley.” I hope this short post will inspire you to press on.

When you are on the top of the mountain you have a great view and in business – it means you are at the top of your game. You can dream about the impossible dream and soar among the stars – you can be greatly inspired. But, rarely when things are going well do we really grow; in fact, that is when you sit back and say – “I deserve this.”

Growth happens down in the valley. Down where the going is rough; were you have no spectacular view and where there are many obstacles. Valleys test your stamina. The rough going makes you shed all the extra things that weigh you down. You must concentrate on what is right in front of you and “slug it out.” Valleys both mature you and harden you for what is ahead.

I don’t know about you – but I like the mountaintop. In reality I know the mountaintop is only great because of what I have accomplished in the valley. If I spend all of my days on the mountaintop, it soon loses its luster. What was once breathtaking becomes ordinary. I have nothing to compare it with. The valley isn’t fun – but it helps make the mountaintop so much more inspiring.

Where are you today? Are you on the mountaintop? Enjoy it, because it won’t last. Don’t get comfortable or you may end up taking a hard fall which could actually be fatal. If you are in the valley – keep pressing on. Don’t become weary. Look and see if something is bogging you down and deal with it. Always keep moving forward – even if it is only an inch at a time. The valley will build your character and character is what will propel you to the mountaintop.

When you are in the valley remember something else Churchill said – “Never, Never, Never, Never give up.” Sometimes the valley experience can “eat you up” – but keep on keeping on – the mountaintop awaits you.

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