Saturday, July 7, 2012

5 Key Questions to Ask Your Guide

5 Key Questions to Ask Your Guide

Next week we start our climb up Kilimanjaro.  Part of our team is the guide for the trip.  After teaching my leadership classes earlier this week, some questions for the guide come to mind (said with smile)…

1.  Have you traveled this way before? 

While its never possible to know all the twists and turns in the road, a good guide will have experience in navigating a variety of different terrains and contexts and know how to handle the inevitable unexpected circumstances.  Experience counts in this as most things.

2.  Do you know where you’re leading us?

Without a clear view of the peak in mind, we’re just a happy band of travelers on a good long walk.  The good guide has at least some vision of the end goal in sight, while the journey to get to it may have some twists in the road, there needs to be a clear vision of what “arrival” looks like.

3.  Do you know who is on your trekking team?

A good guide will get to know their team, know their strengths, weaknesses, their ability (pace) and aspirations.  Maybe everyone isn’t interested in reaching the peak, but happy to enjoy the view from a lower vista, its helpful if your guide knows this ahead of the journey.  Perhaps some may need to move at a slower pace or are able to move at a faster pace, a good guide will moderate the pace accordingly.

4.  Will you tell us regularly how we’re doing?

Communicate, communicate, communicate!  Your followers will follow (and stay highly motivated) if they feel informed and included in the progress updates about the trek.  Ensure your followers are “with you” both physically and mentally.

5.  What’s your philosophy of success?

A good guide knows that rarely a team (or organization) will succeed if only a few individuals succeed.  Success means the majority, if not everyone, embraces the vision, sees the goal, knows their role on the journey and stays motivated to reach their destination.

How about you?  Know any good Guides in your life?  Well now is your chance to honor them.  As part of the Kilimanjaro fundraising climb, we’re giving you the opportunity to publicly “honor the guide” in your life.  With your contribution to our African leader scholarship fund, you are not only lightening the load for our African leaders but your honoring that special person in your life who has been that model leader for you!  Contribute and then write me about it.  Your “guide” will receive a letter telling them all the reasons you’re grateful to be making this journey together! 

For more details see the Kili Climb site: and click on “honor a porter or guide” at the bottom of the page.

Onward and upward!
Beth Birmingham

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