A mentor once described his job to me as pursuing the art of the possible. Within his organization he viewed his role as pushing the boundaries of what one could achieve. He was able to simultaneously keep an eye on what was in front of him and what was developing on the horizon. This outlook enabled him to quickly build relationships with people, identify opportunities that many people missed, and construct a business that was essentially a platform for action.
He built this highly effective team by continually asking, “why not?”, and then moving forward. Mistakes were made at times, but failing was accepted as a way of life and a means to keep creativity and exploration at the forefront of his work.
As I reflect on the tragic loss of Dean Potter, the man who believed he could fly, I have to think that he also asked himself “why not?” as he singlehandedly redefined the limits of human potential through climbing and other extreme sport disciplines. His achievements are a personal reminder to keep pushing forward and to continually look for ways to challenge one’s thinking and perception of the world.