Leadership Alaska Guide Training

Practice what you teach, “Walk the Talk” and all those other jive-talk sayings that we live our lives by. Recently, on our aborted-filming-start-adventure, we got together with a super close family friend and shanghaied her into accompanying us to “town” (that would be Anchorage, for those of you who are sadly, not, Alaskans). On this trip, Kerry Rose shared with us a vid she found on You Tube, “Stop it!” I giggle every time I watch it.

Alright-y! “Stop it!”

Stop what? Stop whatever it is you are doing that you shouldn’t be doing! LOL! Monday Motivation, right? Well, we missed Monday, so let’s get motivated, people. That’s right. You know who YOU are.

Stop it!

We all do things that we know we shouldn’t be doing. “Nobody’s perfect”, you say? Hogwash. I’m not talking about your smoke breaks or sneaking that extra helping of dessert you had while cleaning up dinner.

Let’s start with our Alaska Guide Trainees. (sigh) I’ll start with, “STOP IT!” LOL, just to be very clear. Next, the attitudes are building fast. (It very well could be the warm weather…what do I know…)

The most recent focus the Guide Trainees have been directed towards, through the day-to-day workings and pow-wows, is Leadership. All Leadership entails, over them, through them and beginning with them. Individually and as a Team. For each other and for all the people they will influence throughout their own lives and travels.

Leadership Alaska Guide Training

Leadership qualities are very much the same as the qualities needed in a Alaska Guide Trainee to become a Professional Guide.

Leadership Qualities:

  • Vision
  • Decision Making
  • Risk Taking
  • Know Yourself
  • Motivation
  • Team Building
  • Integrity
  • Lifelong Learning
  • Effective Communication

Wow. That is quite a list of qualities. A list of qualities, a checklist, of sorts, that I live my life by as the Lead Trainer for Pioneer Outfitters Guide Training program. A definite checklist of what I am not seeing, lately, with a very busy Summer about to start.

Leadership Alaska Guide Training

Leadership Alaska Guide Training

Vision. An Alaska Guide Trainee has to be able to see the big picture, beyond the day-to-day chores and restlessness, pulling at the bit, and the not-so-distant-memories of summer vacations full of wild play and no responsibilities.

A Professional Guide has a clear vision. They know where  they want to go, as they guide clients and guests into and through the Alaskan wilderness, they know the dangers, they know what signs to look for, they know how they intend to get there. But there is more. Understanding how that can change, and being able to achieve the goal, depends upon being able to see more than a path blocked.

What is the problem? The problem, as I see it, is the goal has been set, the path laid out, and the path isn’t  straight or smooth enough for some. It is bringing the “quitter” attitude to the surface. All the intelligence, humor and strength in the world wont make a Professional Guide if there is a thread of quitter in the mix.

Stop It!

Decision Making. There aren’t that many decisions for a Guide Trainee to make at this stage, or at least very often. This is our time, to guide them along, show, correct and observe. This is the time for a Trainee to ask questions. A lot of questions. (A person, such as myself, often wonders, when there are no questions…)

A Professional Guide isn’t afraid to make difficult decisions when needed. When people’s or critter’s safety is at stake, there can be no hesitation due to peer pressure or self doubt. A Professional Guide has to have confidence in themselves and their abilities and experiences.

On decision making I would say it has been thoroughly reviewed on a previous post. Tuesday Thought: SNAFU or Professionalism.

Leadership Alaska Guide Training

Risk Taking. Our lives as leaders, as Professional Guides, require us to take risks. As both, courage is a necessity. We must have the courage to act, to do our jobs, in situations where the results are not guaranteed. Both, must be willing to risk failure.

For Alaska Guide Trainees, the risk is minimal. As their individual experiences increase, the risks will increase as their responsibilities do. For now, as the Lead Guide and Guide Trainer, I will continue to instruct, guide, lead and watch each of these trainees and keep them safe as they learn and adjust.

Leadership Alaska Guide Training

Knowing yourself. There just isn’t too much to be said for knowing yourself. Brutal honesty and clear thinking is needed for this. To be a Leader, one absolutely must know their own strengths and weaknesses. A Leader is able and objective of their own behavior, actions and reactions.

A Leader, as well as an Alaska Guide Trainee must be open to feedback and be willing to make changes when necessary. This is part of seeing and understanding exactly who and what you are. Who and what you want to be. You cannot be all you could be, if you are unwilling to improve or make changes. You cannot even begin, if you cannot see yourself clearly, honestly.

Motivation. Without motivation, Alaska Guide Trainees, Professional Guides and Leaders would be, in a word, screwed. (LOL, seriously!) The Trainees need it, from within as well as from the leaders and Trainers, to keep moving forward.

Being able to articulate the plan, the idea, to others, to clients and guests, is the first step in getting them to follow you into the unknown. (Or back up that mountain!) To inspire others to work together towards the goal or the dream, is a gift and blessing. More, it can lead people into doing and achieving something they never thought would be possible.

Stop it!

The problem. Motivation seems to be translating into a “gimme” attitude. You know what I am talking about. Folks that do just enough to get by, stay under the radar of attention and just coast along on the drive and work of those around them.

Stop it!

Leadership Alaska Guide Training

Team building. Team building is so much a part of everything. It is part of knowing yourself, you can’t do everything yourself, all at the same time now, can you? Leadership requires you to be able to know yourself, and your Team. Leadership is taking that knowledge and putting the right people together with the result being the goal.

As Alaska Guide Trainees, team building may be a new concept. Many of our Trainees have in their own recent past, been part of sports teams. Now, they must be ready to step forward into the position of coach (Leader).

The coach, the Leader, the Professional Guide, is the glue that holds it all together. He (or she) must be able to direct, coach and pull the absolute best from each other. Figure out the lay of the land, best approaches and strategies by pulling the Team together for collaboration and conflict resolutions.

What doesn’t work? He said, she said. It doesn’t work. This is a gimme, from me to you. If you are not building your team, you are breaking them apart. It is really that simple. So.

Stop it!

Integrity. (A powerful word, in my own opinion.) Trustworthy. Authenticity. Reliability. Without these, you cannot become a Professional Guide. You will never be a Leader. As Alaska Guide Trainees, this may be a vague idea of a word and it’s meaning. Integrity is the mortar in your standing, in everything you do.

Leadership Alaska Guide Training

Lifelong learning. It’s true. It never ends. To be a Leader and to be a Professional Guide, one must understand that right from the start. The desire and need to continuously learn and grow is already there. Follow through. Keep an open mind.

Effective communication. Alaska Guide Trainees, if you don’t understand something or if you can’t remember what comes next or instead, ASK. As Leaders and Professional Guides, you will be required to speak with, explain and discuss ideas and decisions to people from all over the world with every imaginable background possible.

Leadership Alaska Guide Training

You must be able to get your point or caution across to so many people, so different than yourself. You must be able to meet those people’s individual needs. To know what those needs are, you will need to be able to truly and fully communicate an idea or plan. To be able to draw from these different humans, that will come into your life, what it is they need, are concerned about and what it is they are trying to get across to you.

Leadership Alaska Guide Training

Stop it!

There you have it. Two points I would like to leave you with, after all that. First, we are all leaders. What the world needs and what your own Team needs from you is Leadership. And last, Alaska Guide Training isn’t easy. It shouldn’t be and it cannot be allowed to be.

Ready? Cool! I was hoping you would say that! Click the button below and we will get started with a chat.

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10 Responses to Leadership Alaska Guide Training

  1. Dude – after reading this I want to be an Alaska Guide!!! It sounds like a magical experience that prepares them to not only be leaders on the job but in their own lives. The way you describe the essential leadership qualities is so resonant for me too. Thanks for bringing them to life for all of us from Alaska!

    I had never seen that clip before. LOVE it. Oh, I mean STOP it! :)

    • LOL! Alli, I would have thought I would send people screaming the other way! You are hired.
      We have been busting butt getting all the cabins and grounds ready ~ we went from full blown Winter to Spring to Summer in about a week. I have muscles that had been all but forgotten, yelling at me to stop, sit down and write a few thousand words instead! LOL…
      I spoke with Jen, on our one on one video interview for #bealeader about how our own Guide Training had been slowly changing with all I learned with the Community on G+ and everywhere else. It has just clicked with me, how all we are aiming for as people of the world is so parallel with what a Professional Guide really is.
      ~ It may be a reach for someone looking into our world and lives, in the Interior of Alaska, doing what we do… to someone who has never experienced or even thought about what we do…but it is clear to me. Being inside it all and for so long, it seems obvious.
      When I look at the young men and women who are our Trainees, I can see myself so clearly, Alli. It does NOT fill me with happy thoughts. My goal is to help them become who I can see they already are, inside, so much faster than I reached that place, myself. I want them to fully understand not only how important what they will do really is, but how important it is that they know that, now.
      Thanks for being here with us, Alli. Your horse will always be waiting.
      ~ Amber-Lee
      p.s. Stop it!

  2. Phenomenal post, Amber-Lee. Love your writing style and the well defined leadership qualities, an yes, we are all learning in action.

    “Stop it” is one of my mantras, thanks for sharing this video. Makes you laugh ’till you drop!


    • Ali!
      I LOVE this video! It is so wrong, on so many levels…. and so like me! And sometimes, I think, so right. I am so glad you got a chuckle out of it too!
      ~ Amber-Lee

  3. I can SO hear you saying that…in a very quiet scary way and then in you Drill Sargent scare the Grizzly yell..LOL.
    Oh to be 40 years younger..I’d be there to be told to “Stop It” in a heartbeat.
    Honestly..this post should be page one as required reading in the training manual..it’s excellent. I’d love the life you live there..sigh..but the training and all you do with and for the young men and women you take on to train as guides ..nope! One thing I do know about you.they come out in the end as better people, whether they make it or quit, there’s no way they could not with you as their leader! Yes You are that special and inspiring my friend.

    As Always

    • Sigh, Ann. We’ll be yellin’ at each other one of these days, “Stop it!” ~ it is our destiny!

      I am better for them all being part of my life, Ann. I am so much more than I was before they came into my life, that is all I know for truth.


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