Canoeing The Mountains

In May of 1804, Lewis and Clark set off on what would be an epic adventure for the ages.  Their commission was to find a water route from the mighty Mississippi to the Pacific Ocean.  Little did they know, they would have to ditch their boats, become mountain men, and learn to lead the party in new and unexpected ways.  They had to lead off the (known-to-them) map.

81w8hjjefalTod Bolsinger writes in the book, Canoeing The Mountains, that leaders today are living such an adventure as well.  The world has changed, demanding that leaders learn new ways to not only survive, but to thrive at their mission.

Bolsinger shares three traits that a leader must embody: technical competence, relational congruence, and adaptive capacity.  Further, that if the root mission does not trump everything, the journey will not go far.

“If you can adapt and adventure, you can thrive.  But you must let go, learn as you go and keep going no matter what.” (Pg. 34)

“When our old maps fail us, something within us dies.
Replacing our paradigms is both deeply painful and absolutely critical.” (Pg. 93)

lewis_and_clark_1954_issue-3c“Exploration teaches us to see the familiar through a new frame.
Exploration brings differentiation.
Exploration requires us to become expert experimenters.
Exploration demands our best selves.” (Pg.  206).

Canoeing The Mountains is a must read for anyone wrestling with the present future.  It is a new go-to resource in my life, and I expect to recommend it often.

* Originally posted July 5, 2016, on

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