The Hidden Value of Hills

Mount Vernon









The Hills Have Value


I have been thinking over the last few weeks about the subject of leadership. My latest tweets and quotes on Instagram have mostly dealt with the idea and thoughts on leadership. Well, over the weekend a few friends took me for a ride (figuratively and literally). This was my second week time bike-riding with a group that rides on Saturday mornings. We meet at the Woodrow Wilson Bridge on the Oxon Hill side. With this being my second week, I was all set for the same ride from the week prior. The ride begins the same, but shortly after crossing the bridge where were we made a right the week before, they turned left. The brown sign to the left of the path  said “The Mount Vernon Trail“. I am thinking ok; if I did it last week how hard could this be? Well, the first part of the ride was great and since this was my first time going this way, I was the bike at the back of the group.  Then, all of a sudden this good workout got very serious,  with hill after hill (all uphill that is). I begin to lose ground and before long the other riders were out of sight. (Was I riding with machines and failed to notice) bring up the rear from a great distance (I think I was riding with machines and didn’t know it). Well eventually I had to stop and take a break and get some water and then continue. A word to the wise…. Never stop on the last hill for water because restarting is brutal.

I know what you’re thinking. What does all of this have to do with leadership?

Here is what I learned on this ride.

Shifting Gears- Knowing when to shift gears is vital for hills and leadership as hills represent challenges. As a leader you must properly assess the challenges that you can see and prepare for the hill that’s immediately ahead.

Hills- The hills/challenges you face will serve two purposes. Every hill will provide on the way up, a challenge that will provide you with strength for challenges to come. The other side of the hill is momentum; every hill you face once you reach the top will provide you momentum going into the next challenge/hill.

Rest- The most effective leader in the world will diminish his/her abilities to handle challenges or even to lead without proper rest. Knowing when to rest is important for any leader. Hills/challenges requires rest and rest restores energy. In my experience from riding I had to rest while on the hill, so that I had the energy and strength to finish. If you don’t make it to the top of the hill you’ll never get the use out of the momentum.


Motivation One Moment At A Time