We had the good fortune of connecting with Knight Campbell and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Knight, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Risk has played a huge part in my life for as long as I can remember. When I was young of course I just did things and was either strong enough or lucky enough not to get too injured. Then the Navy forced me to really dig into risk management. As helicopter pilot I was responsible for the safety of my crew and passengers. We thought about everything that could go wrong and identified how serious the outcome would be (consequence) and how likely it was (likelihood). Then we worked through each risk. Low consequence low likelihood, pretty much good to go. High consequence high likelihood, better mitigate the risk or not go on the mission! Now as a guide rock climbing, managing risk is similar in the mountains. We not only need to think through all of the hazards in the mountains and the human factors that could lead us in the wrong direction, we also teach our clients how to do the same and then apply the risk management skills to their companies. As a leadership coach, I deal with a lot of interpersonal risk as well. We ask powerful questions, and that can be uncomfortable. All that said, one of my favorite quotes, “fear is excitement without the breath,” highlights why I love risk. It makes life exciting and offers great reward when managed competently!
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Cairn Leadership Strategies unapologetically says we can develop leaders in a better way. We use shared outdoor adventures, gritty experiential learning and action based leadership coaching to transform lives and leaders. We have guides from mountaineers to Marine Corps test pilots, to engineers, to psychologists. We all think radically differently and we all firmly believe the best life involves time outside. We are a community of people dedicated to personal and professional growth as a journey worth embarking on not as a summit to reach.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
We would definitely head to Tahquitz for a multi-pitch rock climb. We might head up Mt Baldy in the snow or kick it at the crag in Mission Gorge. An evening at Torrey Pines Beach is essential, and maybe a little surfing. Pick up some Roberto’s tacos on the way home and enjoy a fire in the back yard over a few cold microbrews from San Diego breweries. With some more time we might take the little one to the zoo to count the Koalas and hit a long bike ride in east county. We are so blessed with great weather and so many outdoor activities here!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My wife, Leonie inspires me and grounds me. She has 10 years of leadership experience in the Marine Corps, so working through challenges with her is really helpful. She also knows when to just listen, let me vent, and then kindly tell me to quit whining, I have a dream job. My business partner Abigail also holds my feet to the fire in a wonderful way. She constantly points out new ways to improve our Crux Adventures and to streamline the customer experience. She is not afraid to highlight my dogmatism about the way things should be. Usually it means more work for me, but it also means a better company and stronger community. Never surround yourself with people who think just like you! FInally, my two year old daughter both reminds me to stay curious and joyful and not to take myself too seriously. Essential points for any business owner- heck any person!
Mike Jones Leonie Campbell