Leading Change
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Leadership Lessons from Mt. Everest

Mt Everest80% of fatalities happen on the DESCENT from the summit of Mt. Everest.

“The biggest lesson I learned from climbing Mt. Everest is that getting to the top is only half the challenge.” –a climber that had to turn back just 350 feet from the summit.

A big part of leading change is seeing your ministry summit; getting to a place higher (more effective, larger, stronger, deeper, etc) than ever before. I’ve been watching season one and two of Everest: Beyond the Limit on Netflix and this theme of the summit being only part of the challenge has resonated with me deeply.

The show reveals that RELIEF and FATIGUE most significantly factor into the 80% of deaths on the descent.


The euphoria of completing not only a serious physical goal but also an emotional one inhibits climbers from staying focused, leading to carelessness.


It takes so much to get to the top (climbers often lose 25 lbs from the severe cold and energy that they are using) that their muscles improperly function.

Personally I’ve seen relief affect me negatively much more than fatigue. Ministry regardless of how well it’s going causes fatigue in my soul, so I’m much more acclimated to it than relief. The relief that has come from leading significant change has been disorientating, overwhelming, and created much confusion in my soul.

I’m reminded of Elijah’s words in 1 Kings 19: “while he went a day’s journey into the desert. He went and sat down under a shrub and asked the Lord to take his life: “I’ve had enough! Now, O Lord, take my life. After all, I’m no better than my ancestors.”

I’m still learning how to accept this part of being a change agent and not continue to strive after more change when rest and recuperation is required.


  1. Brian! Solid lessons with some sobering reminders for ministry leaders. I never realized the seriousness of the descent.

    My favorite part of this piece is the quote from Elijah.

    Keep it up the great writing.

  2. Pingback: International Blog Tour 2011 « eQuipping for eMinistry

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