“Infinite-minded leaders understand that ‘best’ is not a permanent state. Instead, they strive to be ‘better.’ ‘Better’ suggests a journey of constant improvement and makes us feel like we are being invited to contribute our talents and energies to make progress in that journey.”

Simon Sinek

In a world that was a cross between a corporate retreat and a summer camp for adults, two peculiar mountain climbers emerged: Bestington and Betterton.

Bestington was the kind of guy who’d wear a “World’s Best Climber” T-shirt to a funeral. His backpack, which I’m pretty sure he got after cashing in cereal box tops, sported a flamboyant flag that screamed, “Bestington Was Here First!” He was the sort who’d take a selfie at the summit while completely ignoring the breathtaking view. I once heard he tried to copyright the word “peak.” Classic Bestington.

Betterton, on the other hand, was the kind of fellow you’d want to be stuck with in an elevator. He carried a worn-out journal, probably a relic from his teenage years, titled “Journey to Better Peaks.” He was less about the destination and more about the… well, everything else. The guy could get lost in the beauty of a caterpillar crossing the trail. I swear, if he could, he’d have interviewed each rock and twig he encountered.

When the buzz about Mount Perfection started, it was like announcing a Black Friday sale. Climbers everywhere! Bestington saw it as his golden ticket to eternal bragging rights. Betterton? He probably thought of it as a new season of a TV drama he was binge-watching.

Bestington, predictably, bulldozed his way up. I wouldn’t have been surprised if he’d hired a marching band to announce his ascent. But the top, as it turned out, was a lonely place. Just him and his flag, which I’m convinced doubled as his only friend.

Betterton, meanwhile, meandered. He’d stop to chat, share a sandwich, doodle in his journal. He made friends with a squirrel, named it “Sir Fluffington,” and even dedicated a journal entry to it. When he reached a spot near the summit, he threw an impromptu picnic. It was like Woodstock, but with more granola and fewer guitars.

In the end, Bestington might have reached higher, but Betterton? He had stories, memories, and probably a dozen new recipes for trail mix. It just goes to show, as they say, “Infinite-minded leaders understand that ‘best’ is not a permanent state. Instead, they strive to be ‘better.’” And sometimes, ‘better’ means knowing how to throw a good mountain party.

Stephen Boudreau serves as VP of Brand & Community at Virtuous Software. For over two decades, he has helped nonprofits leverage the digital space to grow their impact. To that end, Stephen co-founded RaiseDonors, a platform that provides nonprofits with technology and experiences that remove barriers to successful online fundraising. He is an avid (but aging) soccer player, audiobook enthusiast, and the heavily-disputed UNO champion of his household.

Copyright ©2024 Stephen Boudreau.