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Leaders Ought to Know: 11 Ground Rules for Common Sense Leadership by Phillip Van Hooser

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Chapter 9

Fearsome Facts

Ground Rule #9
Leaders aren’t fearless;
Leaders face their fears courageously.

Who’s Your Daddy?

Two male friends and I had traveled from our homes in Missouri, Kentucky, and Virginia to Steamboat Springs, Colorado, for a weeklong snow-skiing vacation. I had skied before, but I was by no means an expert at the sport. Though my pride wouldn’t allow me to admit it at the time, I was, in fact, the least experienced skier of our group. Nevertheless, we were all buoyed by a heaping helping of 20-something male machismo. Our inflated opinion of our own physical strength, courage, and overall alpine capabilities was in direct proportion to the testosterone coursing through our veins. And regardless of whether it was justifiable, we were supremely confident in our individual abilities to handle whatever challenges the mountain presented us. Ready or not, here we came.

We spent Day One of our skiing adventure securing equipment, acclimating to the altitude, and getting a feel for the lower mountain. The weather was gorgeous, the scenery spectacular, and the ski runs expertly groomed. Everything was in alignment for a perfect ski vacation.

We skied a few beginner green runs on that first day to loosen up, several more advanced blue runs to push ourselves a bit, and even one or two of the moderately steep, but otherwise easily negotiable, lower mountain expert black runs just for bragging purposes. By the time the sun began to dip behind the western mountains, ...

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