As I gradually pull together the skills required for leading on a mountain bike, whether in a local playground or out on an exposed ridge at 800 metres above see level, many miles from civilisation, it’s clear to me that leading is about understanding others’ perspective, others’ values and finding their real desires. A leader’s job is to channel the right questions to encourage the client to explore their own potential and facilitate their confidence to allow them to generate their own answers.
Things I try to remember: your own ego must be left at home, or at least safely tucked away in a cupboard; and you do not need to try to change other people’s minds or behaviours, simply enlighten them to new ways of thinking or doing and let them find their own route toward change, in their own time.
I’ve been away for a couple of days learning to navigate with Freedom Outdoors on both bike and foot. Passion is essential if managing your own business and Lou from Freedom Outdoors clearly has the passion for the outdoors and education. With an easy manner, she was great in allowing me to explore my existing knowledge in mapping and gradually adding new skills a seamless fashion. Whilst more practice is required from me, she presented the material in a straightforward manner, no hidden agenda, such that I now feel confident in my ability and actually WANT to continue with the mapping skills.
With my need for an adventure, we also did this by ascending a couple of 1000+ metre peaks! Today, I am ruined and now have DOMS in all my antigravity muscles. Us cyclists are not much good at walking down hills… My ego was certainly hanging by the end of this walk.