Every Step Counts

In the in the adventure sports world of mountaineering and climbing, I have observed that there is a simple saying commonly repeated to those you are climbing with and hopefully to yourself as you approach an area of the adventure where the risk of injury or death is at the highest level. That phrase is: “Every. Step. Counts.”

It is a simple enough phrase that could easily be dismissed. However, I’ve observed both in extreme adventure sports, business, and life situations, it is precisely when your mind wanders off task and you forget about that simple next placement of your foot that you step on the loose rock, lose your balance and fall. It’s the rote process of walking that we all take for granted with tens of thousands of steps each day that lulls us into complacency. When that action is replicated in the high risk environment without a deliberate conscious focus as to the presentation, placement, and pressure of the next step; disaster is almost certain to follow.

I’ve taken this saying from the mountains into the boardrooms and construction sites where we work around the country. When I know that the crux of the risk is approaching, I remind myself that the next step is the only one that counts. It’s through the visceral memory of physical pain from past instances where I forgot to think about that very next step that I’m reminded to breathe, focus, and act deliberately when the trail ahead gets exposed and narrow.

We will remember that Every Step Counts both in the mountains and back down on flat ground where the business and life consequences can be just as severe.

– Ray Hix
CEO/Cofounder, Fulcrum Construction Group + Hix Snedeker Companies