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a blog by Chris Barrow

Summits and Summits

Having just returned from three days in Croatia at The Align Growth Summit, I can confidently say that it was the most inspirational conference I have attended for many years.

From Abhishek Ganguly's opening description of their upcoming product and application development (which felt like an Apple developers conference), to Christian Coachman's closing session on collective intelligence, emotional selling and the fully digital clinic, the many speakers educated and entertained a live audience as well as being simultaneously streamed across Europe.

My own breakout sessions on leadership in the digital landscape (a.k.a. "how do I get my team onboard with all this change?") were a drop in that ocean of knowledge but well received and huge fun to deliver.

So my first summit was conquered over the weekend and I have returned with a lot of very thought-provoking material on how all of this impacts my clients and also the way I develop my own business going forward.

I am going to pay tribute to Dr. Coachman, whose presentation had me thinking about my next 10 years in a different way.

The second summit?

Well tomorrow I'll be leaving for Chamonix and 8 days of climbing - the objective to ascend Gran Paradiso and Mont Blanc.

As I have posted before, this will be the single biggest physical as well as psychological challenge of my life.

I've done plenty of crazy stuff over the years - marathons, bike rides, desert wild camping and even a survival show - but this trip is the one that has filled me with the most anxiety, around the sheer amount of scrambling and walking that we will be doing, the altitude reached in such a short time and, ultimately, facing my lifelong acrophobia (yes - that's a fear of heights) in the face.

I'm comforted by the fact that I've been working with a cognitive behavioural therapist, that I've attended a training weekend to familiarise myself with the technical aspects of the trip and that I'll be with a group of best friends.

I was home alone last night and watched the new Adam Sandler movie on Netflix - "Hustle' - inspiring.

I'll replace "never look down" with "never back down".

Wish me luck - there is a certain amount of chance involved - the weather, altitude sickness and other factors - so this is by no means a certainty - but I'll be back on 30th June to tell my tale.

Whatever happens - I'm reminded that a business coach called Chris Barrow said many years ago that "life is a series of mountains, valleys and missiles" - we have to deal with them, but when you are at the top of a mountain, enjoy the moment.

Align took us to the top in Dubrovnik - now it's my turn.

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