Staff who train together, play together, and work together tend to who have amazing cultures. The University of Wyoming Outdoor Program is an example of a group of people with different backgrounds and views who have created a powerful culture on their campus. The leaders who work at the OP will graduate and go on to be history teachers, geophysicists, environmental scientists, and outdoor professionals and each one will be forever impacted by the leadership opportunities provided by the OP. So what is it about the University of Wyoming Outdoor Program that creates such amazing leadership opportunities?
It is simple. Effective leadership only develops when the decisions being made are not trivial and will
impact others. Other leadership training programs focus on theory, but this program combines theory with significant practical application. Leaders emerge when real and consequential decisions have to be made – the moment when autonomy and empowerment collide. Leaders realize their capabilities the moment when the decisions matter.
Experiential Adventures LLC joined the UW Outdoor Program at Vedauwoo Rocks just east of Laramie, WY. EA provided an American Mountain Guide Association Single Pitch Instructor Course to the OP staff at their semi-annual training program. As with many outdoor trainings, the overt outcomes were simple. To learn improved teaching and guiding techniques in the single pitch environment, and to provide even better experiences to participants. However, it is the secondary outcomes that EA enjoys.
Using technical trainings to enhance organizational culture can be powerful. First, many of the leaders will go on to be extremely successful in their field of expertise and may not use the technical skills learned in this course again. Yet, the confidence gained from building anchor systems that are complex, safe, and secure will transfer into other discipline specific environments. Additionally, the human connection associated with trusting one another to perform raises, lowers, and rescues on each other should not be underestimated. As technology continues to advance and move our world forward, there is still something powerful about the trust created from human interaction in natural environments.
EA enjoys working with organizations that believe in the power of community as an essential component of risk management. Organizations that have staff, who are passionate about what they do and are competent leaders, are generally successful. And….that is why the University of Wyoming Outdoor Program is successful!