Life is truly an adventure, especially if you plan it out that way. Over the past five years I’ve been on a quest to climb the 7 summits (the highest peak on the 7 continents). A week ago I topped out on number 6, where I ended up soloing Aconcagua down in Argentina.
In 2011 I soloed Mount Everest with a dramatic descent, I went completely snow-blind on the summit and had to descend alone and visionless. Along my journey I’ve discovered a lot about myself and my purpose in life. Now when I travel to each region of the world, travel I visit orphanages to deliver toys and gifts. It may seem small but we have so much to give to those in need if we step outside of our comfort zone to help make a difference.
I’ve worked at Cisco for over 6 years and have witnessed a lot of changes throughout that time. Cisco has truly transformed the way I work, live, play and learn. In a past life, I worked in an office for 8 straight hours occasionally leaving for a meeting or for travel. For the most part I was efficient with in time management but overall unproductive as I tried to look busy to fill the whitespace in my calendar. Random drive-bys and travel not only wasted valuable time, but kept me further from my customer and deflated my morale. Cisco’s innovative teleworking solutions have completely evolved my experience allowing me to continue my passions for travel and philanthropy.
I’ve often found myself trying to be in multiple places at once while balancing several tasks across the massive gamut of Cisco’s portfolio. Navigating resources is half the battle to ensure the appropriate data is delivered in a timely fashion. My flexible work schedule and productivity tools have increased my ability to deliver beyond what was possible less than a decade ago. Teleworking allows me to multitask across work disciplines, deliver results and increase customer satisfaction while maintaining a well rounded work life balance and debatable level of sanity.
Climbing the highest mountains on the continents adds another level of complexity. However I’m able to manage my training schedule of early morning climbs by utilizing Cisco collaboration solutions such as Webex to take voice and video calls from my smartphone or home office. A typical day starts hours before ‘normal’ people wake up. I’ll carry 50lbs in a pack up a local 4000′ peak, check email as I grab a Starbucks and take a few video calls from home before heading out to visit my customer.
During my Mount Everest climb in 2011, I first visited the Early Childhood Development Center in Kathmandu. I brought along Cisco equipment to orchestrate HD video via 3G connection to multiple cities around the world and let the children interact with one another. This is the first time these underserved children saw this type of technology and I continued to collaborate with similar children halfway around the world. This is the type of powerful, life altering solutions technology brings to the table. Additionally, I was able to hold regular Webex sessions with Cisco, partners, my church and my family. Being away from my wife and children is the hardest part of the climb. Cisco kept us connected during my two month expedition as I scaled the highest mountain in the world. Teleworking is reshaping my expectations of communication and creating the new baseline of excellence.
You can follow my adventures at http://briandickinson.net.