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Returning To The Wilderness,
Re-Charging My Batteries

A week ago I went in to the wilderness with seven volunteers, two staff from Friends of the Inyo, Tristan and Marshall, a US Forest Ranger, Greg Dusic, and his intern, Zach. I had no idea that doing this stewardship project would be such a transformative experience. As always when amongst mountains I feel surrounded by something much greater than myself, and my thoughts about my life, its details and many facets are naturally put into perspective as I walk along the trail. I was excited to meet others who too are inspired by the wilderness and was glad to have a chance to give back to a place that means so much to me.  It is always rewarding to be a part of making something happen and accomplishing a goal, but the fact that we all came from a place of loving the wilderness and wanting to preserve it provided a common vision and gave more meaning to the work.  We were physically challenged and inspired by the hard work of our rangers and trail guys, and we were rewarded by meeting the wilderness on its own terms as we worked to return it to its natural and unscathed state. However, on this trip I was surprised by how much the leadership and sense of teamwork over these several days touched my heart, leaving me with a warm sense of being and relaxation as I reintegrated back into my daily life. Being an Organizational Consultant and Leadership Development Coach, I know that there is no “I” in teamwork, but our Ranger, Greg Dusic, created an environment where we learned, shared and were recognized for the individual differences we each brought to the project. He may have been our formal leader, but he allowed for an emergent or floating leadership to take hold. His leadership style reminded me how effective leadership and successful teamwork go hand in hand. Teamwork requires leadership with vision of a clear goal, a flow of strong communication and the inspiration and drive to get the job done—all which he instilled from the moment I met him. Having returned and reflected on this outing, I am left overwhelmed by a sense that I was connected to something far greater than myself, far greater than the wilderness, as this trip revealed moments and connections to me that continue to resonate like wind chimes in my heart.

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