x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Mark Shuttleworth always looking for new heights to scale

Life Lessons The CFO of du and expert climber offers his philosophies on life.

Mark Shuttleworth is the CFO of du with a passion for climbing.
Mark Shuttleworth is the CFO of du with a passion for climbing.

Mark Shuttleworth, 48, is the CFO of du with a passion for climbing. Today, he and his daughter Leanna, 18, will fly to Kathmandu on a quest to conquer Mount Everest and then Lhotse just 24 hours later. They recently scaled Vinson Massif, Antarctica's highest pea.

1. Being prepared is often a lesson learnt the hard way. I have never been over-prepared, sadly maybe under-prepared due to work commitments, misguided belief that I already knew it all, etc, but going back over even the smallest details always seems to put me in a better position. This lesson is not something I now apply solely for my mountain climbing but in all aspects of my life, especially in the work environment.

2. Never underestimate the power of family and friends. The dedication and commitment required to balance the physical training, the sponsorship commitments and work with family life cannot be underestimated and requires me to constantly remind myself to set time aside for my family, whose support is so vital to me.

3. Patience really is a virtue. I cannot waste energy worrying about things I cannot alter; patience to me is a secret art, not yet mastered, but I feel I am getting better at it each year. The weather on the mountain is a great example where patience is needed - it is better to wait out the bad weather as relaxed as possible and be able to give 110 per cent when the weather window opens instead of fretting about the days lost. Easier said than done!

4. Self-belief is vital to achieve results. However physically prepared I am, when I'm facing a 14-hour summit day on the mountain I really have to have self-belief. They say that climbing mountains is 40 per cent physical and 60 per cent mental; without self-belief the odds are stacked against me.

5. Trust your instincts. In life you need to speak up or take action when your instinct tells you to, rather than when you have the facts to hand, which may be too late. Climbing with my daughter has the real benefit of us both being able to really trust each other based on years of understanding.