key.jpgTo me, the phrase “Going to the Mountain Top” means going to a quiet place, a place of reflection, peace, and solitude where you can connect with your fundamental values, the true north principles by which you wish to guide your life.

For more than 16 years, the key you see in the picture above with the Sundance tag has hung over my desk at home.

Visually, it serves as an ever-present reminder of a time I spent “On the Mountain Top,” an invigorating week I spent in a Principled-Centered Leadership class sponsored by Covey Leadership Center.

The Principle-Centered Leadership course took place in early winter at a small ski resort in Sundance, Utah. The first snow had fallen but the resort had not opened and the course participants, a relatively small group, were the only only people in residence, which deliciously added to my sense of laser focus and intense concentration. I literally ate, breathed, and lived the ideas, thoughts, and concepts of the course for those brief, wonderful days of inspiration and emersion. This was in the early days of the Covey Leadership Center (“The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” was published in 1989) and there was a real palatable sense of excitement and discovery about their mission.

Our teachers were the top echelons of the the CLC, including co-founders Blaine Lee (author of “The Power Principle”) and Roger Merrill (author of “Connections” and co-author with Covey of “First Things First”). Covey came in on the final day to interact with us at an early-morning breakfast session.

That week, the commitments and execution that flowed from it had a profound effect on my life. I keep that key, that Sundance tag, as a tangible talisman of my sense of duty to make the most of that week, to make the most of that opportunity.

It has been said “To whom much is given, much is expected” and “With great power comes great responsibility.”

Going to the mountain top on a regular basis, even if only for brief moments in the quiet back stage of my mind, helps me stay true to the principle of stewardship and duty to which those sayings allude.

Going to the Mountain Top: Making that trip consistently keeps me oriented to true north, focused on the eternal principles that give my life direction, purpose, and meaning.

Where is your mountain top? Been there lately?