Propel yourself and your Leadership skills to new heights
Do you have the Leadership skills to reach the top?
So, you may have made it to the top of your career, or are well on the way to being a Rocket Powered Leader, but do you have the skills to reach the top of the highest freestanding mountain in the world?
We have chosen Mount Kilimanjiro as the location for the World's first real Leadership Summit.
Good fitness is the key to the climb, there are no technical difficulties but we require our team members to have mental determination and good physical conditioning.
Mount Kilimanjaro routes and their variations take between five to nine days to complete. Although Mount Kilimanjaro is known as a "walk-up" mountain, you should not underestimate it and its risks. The overall statistics show that less than half of all climbers reach the summit.
Below are the Kilimanjaro success rates as reported by Kilimanjaro National Park (2006):
All climbers, all routes 45%
All climbers, all 5 day routes 27%
All climbers, all 6 day routes 44%
All climbers, all 7 days routes 64%
All climbers, all 8 day routes 85%
All climbers, all 9 day routes (no data)
The greater the number of days on the mountain, the better your chances of reaching the top. Therefore the key to a safe, successful climb is to take the longest routes possible.
There are seven established routes to climb Mount Kilimanjaro - Marangu, Machame, Lemosho, Shira, Rongai, Northern Circuit and Umbwe. The Marangu, Machame, and Umbwe routes all approach from the south of the mountain (Mweka is used only for descent). The Lemosho, Shira and Northern Circuit routes approach from the west. The Rongai route approaches from the north.
To select the most appropriate route, we will work with our chosen mountain partner to review the ability of everyone taking part in the Summit. This will include considering the scenery of each route, difficulty, foot traffic and its altitude acclimatization characteristics.
There are minimum expenses every Kilimanjaro climb needs to cover, such as park fees, staff wages of climbing team, food, equipment, transportation and other logistical costs. Kilimanjaro National Park entrance and camping/hut fees by far make up the biggest expense, costing over $130 per climber per day. Local wages amount to around $50-$100 per climber per day (depending on group size). Food costs come out to about $10-$20 per climber per day (includes food for staff).
Transportation costs are about $100 per trip depending on the route. There are also costs associated with wear and tear on camping equipment and administrative costs for arranging your climb. The total amount is anticipated to be around $4,000 (USD).
Yes. If you attempt to climb Kilimanjaro without the proper training you may not enjoy the trek as much as you would have with adequate training. The best way to train for Kilimanjaro is to strap a pack on your back and go hiking as much as possible. By doing so your feet and joints will become accustomed to the constant walking you will face on the trek. Also be sure to hit the gym!
Tackling a physical summit such as Kilimanjaro requires the use of not just management skills to plan and carry out the task, but also demands acute Leadership skills to bring the team with you. As part of the climb we will be exploring the mental, physical, physiological and emotional qualities needed to engage a team, and propel them to success. This isn't about role 'play', this is about real world application of your skills, knowledge and experience.
Be under no illusion. Climbing Kilimanjaro is probably one of the most dangerous things you will ever do. Every year, approximately 1,000 people are evacuated from the mountain, and approximately 10 deaths are reported. The actual number of deaths is believed to be two to three times higher. The main cause of death is altitude sickness. This is leadership in extreme contexts.
During the trek it is likely that all climbers will experience at least some form of mild altitude sickness. It is caused by the failure of the body to adapt quickly enough to the reduced level of oxygen in the air at an increased altitude. There are many different symptoms but the most common are headaches, light-headedness, nausea, loss of appetite, tingling in the toes and fingers, and a mild swell of ankles and fingers. These mild forms are not serious and will normally disappear within 48 hours.
Taking Blue Sky thinking to a whole new level!
We're working hard at changing the meaning of Leadership, and the associated concepts. 'Leadership Summits' usually entail being confined in a conference centre, starved of stimulation and oxygen, with little to remember at its conclusion. We will change that - radically.
This will be the World's first true Leadership summit - on the Summit of the highest mountain in Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, rising 4,877 metres (16,001 ft) from its base to 5,895 metres (19,341 ft) above sea level. We've already started acclimatization by walking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu at 2,430 metres and Cusco in Peru at 3,399 metres above sea level (11,152 feet)
This will quite literally propel 'Blue Sky Thinking' to a whole new level, your career to new heights, and your Leadership Skills - out of this world!
Sign Me Up!
If you have the mettle and determination to join us on the Summit, stayed tuned. We will soon be publishing details of the Summit, get ready to register your interest, and join us for a world first. We are also aiming to stake a claim with Guinness World Records for the World's highest Leadership Summit.
How to Prepare for the summit - TRAINING TO CLIMB KILIMANJARO
Aerobic training (also known as cardio) uses oxygen to adequately meet the energy demands of exercise via aerobic metabolism. The types of exercise that use aerobic metabolism are generally light-to-moderate intensity activities like long distance jogging, swimming, cycling and walking. This differs from anaerobic exercise like high intensity weight lifting and sprinting which uses anaerobic metabolism to supplement the aerobic system due to increased energy demands.
Aerobic exercise builds the cardiovascular system which is key when training to climb Kilimanjaro, as a strong cardiovascular system will help you process limited oxygen in a more efficient way.
There is a flip side though. The more fit you are, the harder and faster you can push yourself, and the quicker you think you can ascend Kili.
This is a huge mistake!
Going as slow as possible, even when you are on the lower reaches and feeling great, is key to your success on Kili. You will hear your porters say Pole Pole, which means Slow Slow in Swahili. This is possibly the best advice you will get!
Your body needs time to acclimitize to high altitude and a strong cardiovascular system can help but not if you have pushed yourself too hard. A good recent example of how a strong cardiovascular system can trick one comes from an accomplished Australian marathon runner who collapsed at Stella Point because he had gone too fast early on in his hike.
If you are relatively unfit we recommend setting yourself a 3-6 month training regime where you focus on long distance walking / running (6-12 km at least three times a week). You can do this on a gym treadmill but remember to set a consistent pace and vary the slope (a slight incline is best).
For relatively fit people who already undertake a fair share of cardiovascular exercise we recommend maintaining your regime until 1 month before your climb. At this point we recommend increasing the duration, but not intensity, of your exercises.
In addition to aerobic exercise you should also be doing light strength training, particularly for your legs, core and upper body.
In terms of your legs we suggest for the following exercises:
- Front and Reverse Leg-curls (thigh muscle and hamstrings)
- Step aerobics
Building the strength of your core muscles (stomach and lower back) and upper shoulder muscles is also important as you will be carrying a lightweight pack for up to 6-7 hours a day. We recommend the following exercises:
- Kettle-bell rows / swings
- Shoulder presses
- Back and shoulder flies
Climbing Kilimanjaro is in fact just one long hike. The best way to prepare for a long hike is to do a few yourself.
We recommend doing at least two long distance hikes (over 5 hours). If you can do back to back days that would be even better. Doing a few practices hikes as part of your training to climb Kilimanjaro has a few benefits:
- You get to experience what a 5 hour hike on difficult terrain feels like, going up and down (for most people going down is often more grueling as your knees and joints can take a battering)
- You get to wear in your boots. There is nothing worse than arriving in Kilimanjaro with unworn-in boots. This can seriously stymie your summit attempt as you will get blisters and sore feet early on in your hike.
So often the thing that gets climbers to the top of Kilimanjaro is their mental stamina. There will be times during the summit night that you will want to give up and go back down. Being able to dig deep and pull on your mental reserves is so important.
Thankfully there are activities to train your mental stamina. Most require some form of pushing your body to the extreme, or to what you think your limits are, and then pushing through to accomplish your goal.
We recommend long distance running, particularly marathons, but half marathons can do the same thing if you are not accustomed to running long distance. This type of activity really requires one to draw on their mental reserves to get to the finish line.
Most people who run marathons will tell you the last mile was all mental. If you can get in that state of mind at least once before Kilimanjaro, then you will be perfectly prepared for the final push up the slopes of Kili.
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