I love doing outdoor activities but sometimes they also highlight some great learning points for me in my communication and the unstated that results from not knowing what one can do or cannot do until you try.

A few years ago we did some team building where we did rock climbing. It was a great experience where we worked with our partner Kanto Adventures. When we got to the climbing site it looked pretty reasonable and so I thought to myself “Okay I can do this”. The reality was quite different.

The challenge I faced was not the rock face itself but me. In the years leading up to the event I had not been taking care of myself as well as I should have. I had put on a bit of weight and was not as agile as I used to be. At the time for me, a did not think much about this until I started climbing and found that that extra weight really did impact on my ability to carry out the activity I wanted to do.

Here I am halfway up the cliff face, sucking in the air, an air of frustration kicking in for me. My team were awesome in giving encouragement and suggesting options. For me though, I was facing something the team could not see – my fear of failure. It was amazing how that fear causes some thoughts to run through ones mind. It is also amazing how that fear can prevent you from achieving the goal when you are so close to the goal. The impact on our self-esteem and belief in ourselves is massive.


On this day two key things helped me to overcome my fears. Firstly, was that consistent belief of the team in me. Second, was finding a belief in myself to overcome the roadblock and to realize that challenging that which looks impossible makes it possible. Failing forward is a great way to grow and allows you to consider your weakness and areas for development.

There were two other important points that came from this great outdoor development experience. The first was the importance of looking after our health as leaders and people. Being fit and healthy is a key to continued success at work and in life. We encourage all teams to think about this. The second point, is to ensure you have the right equipment to achieve the result.

Come and build strong shared team experiences doing rock climbing, hiking and other outdoor activities.