This week’s selected media: January 14, 2024: Take the Lead

January 14, 2024 by Joshua
in Tips

This week I finished:

Take the Lead, by Sasha DiGiulian: The author is one of the premier climbers today. The book describes her journey from childhood to winning too many competitions to count and being the first to climb many faces around the world, along with the fame that comes with it. My nephew loves climbing and she went to college where I did (Columbia), so when her team sent me a copy of the book, I was interested.

She shares what it takes to find what you’re made of.

You know me, though. During college, she flew around the world nearly every weekend and didn’t slow down after. The book’s dedication included, “And to Mother Nature for her inspiration. May we protect her for generations to come” and the last acknowledgment read “And, to those brave stewards of our planet who at this moment are fighting for its very life.” Yet she pollutes and depletes more than nearly anyone alive.

She recognizes she’s a role model. She knows what an individual can do, writing after a challenging summit, “Once again, I was convinced that if I wanted something bad enough, and worked hard enough, maybe, just maybe, I could make any goal a reality.”

She knows the problems. They disgust her. Some quotes:

The area [around the Pyrenees] was breathtakingly beautiful, reminding me of how much I loved climbing outdoors.

It also fueled my anger with the new administration’s rollback of dozens of environmental laws. If they had their way, they’d build gas pumps on every mountain range in the country. The devastation of climate change was already apparent and now we had a President who didn’t support climate actions. . . Our wild landscapes and pristine valley and mountain ranges were being subjected to private development and fracking. . . I had a platform and enough experience to know how to use it.
. . . I’d seen firsthand the damaging effects of climate change on mountains. . . we would also enact climate change policies and the move toward a greener economy.


I couldn’t even imagine the devastation people were suffering in the affected areas [by forest fires new Vancouver]–or how anyone could deny what was happening to our climate. I had the privilege of having options–I could go indoors and wait, safe and sound (if overly anxious) for the smoke to clear.


I was pumped about where the series [she made with her production company] could potentially go and the kind of platform it could be, for everything from fitness to climate activism, sustainable living, and global ecotourism.

But then:

I’d begun working with the UK-based Bentley Motors, and they had provided me with their latest-model SUV–an ultra-luxurious two-hundred-thousand-dollar-plus Bentayga–to drive me from city to city.

She may end up on the podcast. So much potential to act and lead on sustainability. Instead she points fingers while not looking at what she does or could do for sustainability.

Read my weekly newsletter

On initiative, leadership, the environment, and burpees

We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit

Leave a Reply

Sign up for my weekly newsletter