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“Hang on a minute, guys. Don’t come up yet. I have a little surprise for you.” 

Undaunted Courage is Stephen Ambrose’s best-selling account of the Lewis and Clark expedition. Our family has a little beach cabin in Seaside, Oregon where the expedition concluded. They have one of those really cool statues at a turnaround point that looks out on the Pacific Ocean.

Throughout the expedition they battled nearly insurmountable challenges including, hunger, severe illness, fatigue, desertion, hostile enemies, and death (not your average road trip across the US). Then, the team finally reached the headwaters of the Missouri River. All advance information had led them to believe that this meant they were also close to the Columbian River which would be a gentle float safely westward to the Pacific Ocean. They would be heroes at last!

Merriwether Lewis went ahead to climb a bluff to view the picturesque waters. Imagine what he felt when rather than seeing a gentle sloping valley, he saw the majestic and intimidating Rocky Mountains…

Question To Leaders:
• What do you do when you think your biggest challenges are behind you, only to find out you were just warming up?
• How do you rally yourself?
• How do you rally your troops?

I picture Lewis motioning the rest of the party to stay behind while he figured out how he was going to break the news about the trek up the mountains.
Maybe he said something like “Hang on a minute, guys. Don’t come up yet. I have a little surprise for you.”

Eventually, crossing the Rock Mountains would be the supreme challenge and supreme achievement. It called forth enormous creativity, innovation, and perseverance. It led them to spectacular sights and unforgettable memories. It built an inner confidence because when you know you can tackle the Rocky Mountains, you know you can tackle anything!

What Is Your Rocky Mountain Challenge?
• Finding new customers or business clients?
• New upgrades to brand and marketing?
• New innovations or new service offerings?
• New projects with fast-approaching deadlines?
• New personal confidence to tackle your work?
• New strength to continue upward?

When you start climbing and stretching and sweating, you will find the way to climb, new ideas, and break-through innovation in your work. You will find the stamina you need to go higher. You will meet new people and discover new clients. You will discover your inner strength and awaken your Undaunted Courage.

Come on, let’s climb together! You and me! Let’s make it to the Pacific Ocean!

Lewis and Clark’s compass used during expedition

Quick Facts about Lewis and Clark
• Lewis and Clark Expedition: 1804-1806
• Commissioned by President Thomas Jefferson
• Team of 33 included one woman and one dog
• Lewis and Clark drew 140 maps
• Expedition took 863 days and covered 7,689 miles
• The initial budget approved by congress was $2,500

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Get ready for Emotional Intelligence Boot Camp!