“Anything you can do, I can do better. I can do anything better than you…Anything you can be, I can be greater. Sooner or later I’m greater than you…”
Many of us are familiar with these lyrics from Irving Berlin’s 1946 Broadway musical, Annie Get Your Gun. The song reminds me of incredible accomplishments achieved by individuals within the mountaineering community, which I’d like to share.
On May 29th, 2013, a press conference was held in Tokyo, Japan featuring a man whose accomplishments had earned admission into the Guinness World of Records. Surrounded by reporters, photographers, and other media personnel, this gentleman was there to discuss his extraordinary feats and the events leading up to this historic occasion.
Yuichiro Miura, at the age of 70, had originally become the oldest man to summit, Mount Everest. Upon reading about this achievement, a 72-year-old was so inspired that he then became the oldest man to summit, Mount Everest. Miura read about this in the paper and at the age of 75 once again became the oldest man to summit that great mountain.
If you can believe it, this continued once more, until Miura – at the age of 80 – had finally secured the feat of being the oldest man to summit Mount Everest for the third time, which finally earned admission into the Guinness Book of World Records.
What an incredible “competition” between these golden-year individuals! While they were determined to achieve the title of “oldest man to summit Mount Everest,” unlike the lyrics of Anything You Can Do, Miura and his counterparts weren’t necessarily trying to outdo each other. Instead, I’m convinced they inspired each other to accomplished more as individuals – to achieve more than they had ever thought possible.
Summiting Our Everest and Inspiring Others as We Do
What if we were able to accomplish this level of success for ourselves and create this level of inspiration and motivation as leaders? Imagine the possibilities that could be realized if we and our team members felt it was possible to even attempt certain goals and aspirations?
The language of leading – which is focused on inspiring, persuading, and provoking action – may sound like it is solely built on verbal communication. When we hear the word “language” many of us think of how we verbally relate to someone. However, language is much more than words, it’s action. The combination of those two factors creates something powerful.
When watching the press conference focused on Miura, it was not necessarily the statements he made, but the questions he posed in light of his actions that I found to be most inspiring. In essence, he asked, “what would you do, what would you attempt if you knew you would not fail?”
As effective leaders, we should be inspiring our teams to achieve more. Perhaps not in the spirit of Annie and Frank from Annie Get Your Gun, but in the spirit of skilled individuals looking to better ourselves with the motivation of fellow team members and leadership that not only talks the talk but walks the walk – or climbs the climb in this case.
Learn more about becoming that kind of leader and successful individual by visiting chuckgarcia.com.