How much did I LOVE interviewing fellow Wall Street veteran turned leadership consultant, speaker, author, podcast host, and mountaineer, Chuck Garcia?? Let me count the ways!! Chuck spent the first 25 years of his career working at Bloomberg, Blackrock, and Citadel before transitioning to help others climb their proverbial mountains, as he puts it. He’s the founder of Climb Leadership International, author of A Climb to the Top, and host of a podcast by the same name on which his guests share stories of how they overcame adversity, career challenges, and “climbed” unexpected obstacles. He is also an Adjunct Professor at Columbia University where he teaches Leadership Communication in the Graduate School of Engineering. Of course, I admire him even more for his mountaineering accomplishments, which include Mount Kilimanjaro, Mount Elbrus, the Matterhorn, as well as mountains in Alaska and the Andes. In fact, it was a close call on 9/11 (he was en route to give a talk at the World Trade Center when the planes hit) that inspired him to climb Mount Rainier in Washington to honor his lost colleagues and friends exactly one year later on Sept 11, 2002. Chuck also shares the story of how his climbing metaphor for leadership resonated so much with his left-brained Columbia grad students that he turned it into a more widely available offering, The Emotional Intelligence Lab. Many experts tout empathy, resolving conflict productively, and remaining calm under pressure as today’s most essential leadership traits. I couldn’t agree more with Chuck that climbing the mountain of personal growth is the prerequisite path to get there.

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