Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why

I just finished reading Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why.  This is not typical reading fare for me but has a profound message that’s directly applicable to business.

The author tells true stories of miraculous endurance and tragic death–how people get into trouble and how they get out again (or not). Who survives and why.

What it really boils down to is the ability to handle crisis. Which often comes upon us when we fail to anticipate the possible outcomes of decisions made in haste. Or when a series of poor choices place us in a precarious position.

My heart was in my throat as I read about the 2 college girls on  “the trip of a lifetime” who went on a day hike in Sacred Falls State Park on the island of Oahu. It was the middle of August on a mild and clear day. They parked in the parking lot and carried water bottles and snacks as they set off on a short hike. They were never seen again.

It’s thought that they miscalculated the density of the jungle (since it bordered on a well populated area) and wandered off the path. The triple-canopy jungle is vast and you can’t even see the sun through the chaotic overgrowth.  It’s not uncommon for people to hear the sound of the surf, thinking they’ve found the beach, and run off the edge of the 4,000 foot cliffs in the park.
Heartbreakingly tragic.

I am intrigued by the fact that a child under the age of 6 typically has a better survival rate when lost in the wilderness than an experienced hunter. It has a lot to do with being intuitive, paying attention to signals from your body and  not projecting a grim outcome onto the movie screen of your mind.

Since I study change and the ability of leaders and teams to navigate it successfully, I was fascinated by the lessons.

The most profound truth about survival in extreme circumstances is that it is not  really dependent on training, intellect or even attitude. It has more to do with heart. With hope, courage and resilience.

All of which are necessary attributes of effective leaders.

You are invited to explore the essentials of Navigating Change Like a Champion, a  Free Tele-Class on May 30th.  Deep survival skills can come in handy when you find yourself in unfamiliar situations. And that’s a matter of when, not if.

Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.  ~Helen Keller

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