up-a-mountain.jpg

Up A Mountain

Published: Oct 17 , 2019
Author: Richard Savage

The highlight of the holidays, which after this week’s biblical weather seems a long time ago, was some energetic romping about in the Cantabrian mountains in Northern Spain. There is a beautiful spot in the heart of the Picos de Europa where we have been going for nearly two decades. And in this hiking paradise, we celebrate the fact that despite the absolute confidence ahead of each adventure we embark on, meticulous packing of walking maps and charging up of GPS enabled smartphones, we know we will get lost.

I’d like to think that we are a bright bunch. Very practical, fit and ambitious. But boy do we make heavy weather of getting from A to B.

Etched in my mind forever is the day after a birthday night away in a refuge in a beautiful spot some 1800 metres above sea level. The refuge come hotel had a restaurant attached to it and we celebrated under the stars, fortified with Carajillo (a Spanish coffee laced with hard liquor) in preparation for a hike up to a Col and descent down an unchartered valley to a tiny medieval village (with a bar in it) called Mogrovejo.

There is a track that we normally follow – a 2.5-hour walk through magnificent scenery – but this was something new. I do take responsibility for the drama that unfolded but I also would like to state for the record that I did make the observation that “those contour lines do look very (very) close together”.

But on we went. Stoic. Excited and blindly optimistic that we could tame these bad boy mountains. In the team, we had myself, my wife, two daughters (20 and 25) and a friend of my youngest. All experienced mountain walkers. Hey! We had done it so many times before what could possibly go wrong?

The sun was shining but it was cool at that altitude, so we didn’t take enough water. The walk up to the col was uneventful – but took a little longer than we had anticipated. So, the ‘we’ll get lunch the other side’ seemed, in retrospect, like a naïve plan as the mid-day sun passed overhead and we were still hours away from our destination.

Down the alarmingly steep valley the other side, the gorge got deeper and steeper still. The seemingly flat riverbed below was almost vertically sided, driving us to traverse with bare legs through rough prickly mountain gorse. At one point a daughter got stranded on some slippery shale and there was a moment when my vice-like grip on a protruding rock was the only thing supporting her.  However, the rock became loose and a battalion of ants swarmed out like a scene from ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ covering my hand and arm, but I just couldn’t let go. 

The friend twisted her knee. The youngest’s ankle which had endured a minor strain (a Uni night clubbing incident) worsened and we were becoming exhausted.  Five hours in and the first tears flowed (No, not mine!).

Further climbing down the dry riverbed was followed by frightening scrambles up banks so steep we had to use hazel saplings to pull ourselves out of trouble. At some point we had reached the point of no return, but who knows when that was. 

And like many negotiations, poor preparation, unrealistic objectives and an inflexible strategy meant we didn’t stand a chance of the experience going according to plan. We made it of course, but familiarity, arrogance and a bit of a gung-ho attitude, left our party questioning the leadership skills exhibited on that memorable summer’s day, and what turned out to be an 8-and-a-half-hour romp in the mountains. And possibly a little teary (albeit after the first swig of Larios con tonica) in the Mogrovejo bar.

If you’re thinking of going to that bar in Mogrovejo, I’m afraid there’s no gin left… Clacton on Sea next year…

 

Are you at an impasse? Are you facing deadlocked deals?

Do you need to breathe new life into your negotiation situation? We are here to help! We can be your advisor, your coach, and your trainer. Whether you bring us in to create your strategy or help you prepare, or develop your team’s negotiating skills, we can help you win at the negotiating table.

We’ve been consulting and teaching our proven negotiation methodology for over 40 years. We know the process, we can identify the skills required, and we have the techniques to negotiate better deals for you. Call us and let’s discuss what we might be able to do for you.

Talk to one of our experts today.


SHARE

Richard Savage

About the author:

Richard Savage
I am a so-called entrepreneur with 30 years of experience in marketing, brand development and retail intelligence and have co-founded flavourfeed.com a start-up global food trends resource and The Shopper Experience Company a retail and shopper research and intelligence business working with brands including Chanel, Samsung, Tesco, Aldi and Vision Express.

Read more about Richard Savage

More posts by Richard Savage

Latest Blog:

Liar Liar Pants On Fire

“The trouble, Richard”, a prospective client once said to me, “is that I can get a better service elsewhere for less money” …the salesman’s worst nightmare! But I was desperate; I’d been trying to get this research proposal over the line for weeks and we really needed the revenue. I was ready to compromise and do (what I thought) was necessary. But that compromise (or unconditional concession as we professional negotiators like to call it) didn’t just cost me the arbitrary 15% discount to get the job. It set a precedent for subsequent jobs that overtime amounted to thousands of pounds.

Latest Tweet:

Scotwork UK Limited
7 Fortrose St
Glasgow
G11 5NU
United Kingdom
+44 (0) 1413573989
info@scotwork.com
Follow us
Scotwork 21092 - Training Course.png
award 2.jpg
award 1.jpg