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I have just returned from a two week trekking holiday in Madagascar. I’m delighted to say I reached the top of Peak Boby, the second highest mountain there, standing proud at 2658m!

My delight is not because I found it easy, but because I found it hard. It was a real challenge!

Peak Boby is a granite outcrop and a five day adventure – walking, camping and trekking. Day 1 was walking from a broken road bridge to the first camp. You can see our porters taking our luggage!

Day 2 was a steep climb to base camp, where we saw some wonderful moon like scenery.


Day 3 was a 2.30am start to climb the peak, walking by headtorch in the cool to reach the summit for sunrise.

Day 4 and 5, we reversed the process, re-joining our vehicles before moving on to lemur spotting in some more National Parks.

Climbing Peak Boby was a stretch for me, and the feeling inside, and sense of achievement endures.

Our guides were essential to the success of this adventure. One guide, Andry, puzzled me. I spent a lot of time following him, and it always felt easy.

Whatever we were doing –  walking along the flat, climbing up steep granite steps, or awkwardly coming downhill (always worse in my experience!), he always seemed to be walking at exactly the right pace for me.

How could this be?

It took a while for me to notice this, but he varied his speed to match mine, even although he was ahead, and usually looking forward.

How did he do this?

Well, I’m not sure. But three thoughts come to mind:

  • He listened to the tapping of my poles, and adjusted his speed to what he heard
  • He watched my shadow and speeded up or slowed down in line with what he saw
  • He adjusted in line with the huffs and puffs he heard from me.

I didn’t think to ask him at the time.

But one thing I know for sure, is that it really helped my motivation, and helped us to achieve our goal.

Going at my pace, rather than feeling on constant catch up, not good enough, not fast enough, not something else enough, kept me moving and us all in the game.

It was not a race to be the fastest; it was a race, a challenge, to get to the top. We set off really early for the sunrise!

And I’m wondering, what do you do to keep your team with you?

Do you go at your pace or theirs?

How do you adjust and keep them with you, so that you all succeed with the goal together?

PS. Lemur videos follow. The Indri Indri lemurs are the most loud! 😀

Gill How loves to deliver work globally and internationally with managers, executives and professionals to help them to evolve, grow their leadership capability and stretch their strengths. She is a Master Executive Coach, Innovative Leadership Developer and avid walker in beautiful parts of the world! If she can help you in developing the potential of the professionals in your organisation, get in touch!

Photo Credits: Gill How and Steve Hart.

A big thank you to all the guides at Peak Boby, Fidelis, Andry and Chantal; our Tour Guide Giry with us for the full two weeks, all of the group I walked with and KE Adventure Travel.

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Gill How

Helping leaders grow, step up and deliver outstanding results

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