Thursday, December 21, 2017 - 3:30pm

Mountain climbing offers an excellent metaphor for life and business, and nobody knows this better than Chuck Garcia, who teaches organizational leadership and directs the undergraduate honors program in the Mercy College School of Business.

In October, Garcia led a group of 25 business honors students and faculty on a quest to climb Mount Washington, a 6,288 peak in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. After setting off at dawn, the group reached the summit in what Garcia called “record time—three hours and forty-five minutes.” Undeterred by heavy winds and cloudy conditions, which reduced visibility to near zero for much of the climb, the group decided—together—to press on. Later, Garcia praised their perseverance, saying, “This was another great day in our students’ quest to climb to the top of their proverbial mountains.”

 

Leading students up a mountain has become an annual tradition for Garcia and fellow School of Business faculty members. Among the lessons learned are how to set a goal, focus on one step at a time, and work together with one’s teammates. The experience offers a powerful metaphor that has contributed to Garcia’s business teaching philosophy.

 

As Garcia wrote in the introduction to his 2016 book, A Climb to the Top: Communication & Leadership Tactics to Take Your Career to New Heights, Mountains are not climbed alone; neither are careers.”