Outdoor Tips - Learning To Survive And Lead Based On First Experiences

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Pablo Edronkin

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It is often said that the first move of a chess match determines the rest o the game; it may be an exaggeration but indeed, what takes place first usually has consequences, especially within systems in which one thing occurs as a consequence of another. In the realm of real life this means that what you do when confronting a new experience determines not only whether you will survive it or not, but if you will be able to use it in the future to lead.

Speaking about "the first time" is a cliche usually interpreted in a sexual and romantic nature, but there are "first times" in any different aspects of life, and be it the first time a newbie pilot confronts an emergency, the first combat experience of a soldier, the first love, the first position of responsibility within a corporation or the first exhibit of an artist, such events rarely unfold in a picture perfect manner but just succeeding at all should be interpreted as a major milestone and success.

Surviving a "first" is hard because firsts imply always the lack of knowledge and character takes precedence over wisdom, skills and intentions. So, viewing the matter form a leadership-education perspective, this turns the whole thing into an elitist business since not everyone is prepared to lead; just a selected few can do that both within our society and in nature: The survival of the fittest is not, by all means, just a cliche.

Hierarchical control systems are designed to place the new and most inexperienced leaders in positions in which they can be useful and not harmful at the same time. Even the best talent, if pressed to act to soon, may produce a disaster because everyone makes mistakes. So, by placing those just starting their leadership careers in situations in which they can hone their skills and talents without bringing the corporation down, like for example, intensive outdoor excursions and trekking sorties, they can be trained properly, in an entertaining and healthy manner. Nobody needs to wait until those budding leaders become presidents and prime minister to use whole societies as Guinea pigs.

Regrettably, that is precisely the weakness of most democratic systems as we know them because by principle democracy means that everyone should have equal opportunities to lead, but this equality of opportunity has been wrongly understood as equality of capacity to rule. Being voted by millions doesn't bring wisdom.

Leaders should be progressively trained within a context that stimulates talents and has good damage control at the same time. Outdoor adventures generally are more than adequate for that and at the same time are interesting, enjoyable and educational, even for adults.

After each excursion and significant activity a debate and self-critique should follow. Mistakes should be commented and solutions, including habit - changing ones should be put forward. We humans tend to underestimate the relevance that habits have over our own actions even in the distant future. We can say that even in the selfishness of a teenager - if not corrected - one can see and predict future leadership disasters decades later.

The "first time" is not important because of the romantic memories left behind. That is okay but the true significance of what happens in those occasions lies somewhere else: "First times" always show what we are all made of, they are like mirrors of our won, deep and honest personalities, so being intellectually, technically and morally capable of interpreting even subtle reactions to new and "first" things is tremendously important: It makes or breaks leadership careers.

This explains why politicians are so good at convincing but generally so mediocre at managing societies from leadership, executive positions. Those that get into politics generally begin as young idealists full of good intentions tainted by ideological beliefs which reality is explained This habit and the first exposure to politics, if not corrected, usually means that years later they will tend to see reality according to the same criteria, especially to protect their own minds from the realisation that people may not like them anymore for their policies.

Thus, all those urban-myth-quality explanations an excuses based on the actions of Zionists, Muslims, leftists, fascists, oligarch corporations, populists, the CIA, KGB, Mossad come into existence and gullible people that have not done their intellectual homework years before assume as their own Needless to explain, such explanations become a sure-fire way to guarantee future blunders.

Thus, it is important to apply a lot of controlled, contained experimenting in leadership, followed y a lot of self-critique in order to educate future managers, officers, politicians and intellectuals. Looking into the first mirror is the most important view one can enjoy in his whole life.

Simply nature; dawn in early fall, Patagonia.

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