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Business Profile: Move Mountains

January 21, 2022 | Meghan Ochs

At Move Mountains, a membership-based leadership and coaching program for individuals and organizations, COVID-19 and the challenges the pandemic presented required its leader, Charles White, and his team of facilitators, to take a play out of their own handbook. Move Mountains had already been running a successful adventure-based leadership program; however, when the world began socially distancing, the outdoor adventures that Move Mountains organized, and the natural opportunities for personal growth that they present, came to a screeching halt. This global change forced Move Mountains to reevaluate how they were operating and take the same steps which they ask of their own clients. Over the course of 9 months, the organization put in the work and evolved. Move Mountains averted its attention inward, created a new intention about their level and type of engagement with their clients, and then took specific action to create a sustainable change about their operation. The results have been better than they could have anticipated. 

The core of what Move Mountains offers their clients has not changed; effective leadership training through a transformative and guided personal care journey. What has changed however is the method in which this journey is created and how it is delivered. The three words, attention, intention, and action have always been at the center of what Move Mountains focuses on. Charlie and his impressive team guide their clients to bring these three things into alignment so they can show up as their best selves. This approach requires clients to draw attention inward while working through the tough questions and situations that leaders often face with the intention of creating actionable positive change. Prior to COVID, this meant taking leaders outdoors on exciting and challenging recreational adventures to push them in a physical, naturally adverse environment. Simultaneously. leaders would facilitate tough conversations about socio-emotional issues related to their goals of personal growth and leadership. Now, post-COVID, Move Mountains has moved from an adventure-based model to a club-based one. The clients of Move Mountains are largely the same, individuals who are committed to personal growth, mindfulness, and personal and professional wellness. Typically, they are leaders in their field, and like most leaders, they are risk-takers and adventure seekers. Now, rather than one-off events in the beautiful Sierra Nevada Mountains, Charlie and his team offer memberships that provide monthly trainings, skill-building workshops, guided meditations, and regular practice sessions to help apply what they have learned. Adventure-based learning is still a part of the deal, but now, rather than being the primary leadership product, it is ancillary.

For Move Mountains, this change was a huge pivot. It is not that what they were doing before was ineffective, but like any good leader, they recognized a changing environment requires adaptation. Charlie and his team did exactly what they asked their clients to do, commit to the process by looking inward, asking the tough questions, and recognizing both their strengths and blind spots. Move Mountains is adamant about using the word blind spot vs weakness. A blind spot, while we may not always know what it is in it, generally we are aware of its existence. Contrarily, a weakness may be less obvious or identifiable. The self-evaluation approach of noting both strengths and blind spots allows Move Mountains to offer a more exhaustive range of coaching and leadership offerings to their clients. Their new membership platform takes a three-fold process which includes coaching, training and practice, and adventure. 

It is obvious that the Move Mountains team is reinvigorated by their new mindful leadership club format. Short-term events like their adventure packages are great openers, but as Charlie noted, “Sustained behavioral change takes time, plus consistent advocacy and support. We offer leadership skills but this type of change is a personal journey. We are here to help clients find their way, not to tell them the way.”  Clients of Move Mountains must be ready to have conversations about self-worth, self-esteem, conflict, and conflict avoidance, just to name a few. Commonly the Move Mountains team will see clients who want to create change in a specific area of their professional or personal life. This concept of separating the various spheres of life is discouraged since strengths and blind spots show up regularly in all areas. The goal at Move Mountains is to improve the overall, “Personal wellness to professional success works. It is an illusion that they are separate, ” explained Charlie. We want to build resilience and adaptability to chaos and evolving business and personal climates. Strength is gained from adversity, whether personal or professional.” Through coaching, training, guided practice, and the occasional adventure, Move Mountains provides its clients with practical tools and strategies for their overall success. Their new business model is proof that their coaching and leadership strategies are effective. In 2021, Move Mountains has formally become a product of their own product. 

For more information and a list of upcoming events visit Move Mountains online.

*This article originally appeared in the Fall 2021 edition of LIVE.WORK.PLAY.*

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