In a ski resort, there are a variety of types of trails (or runs). Green runs are at the lower end, blue runs are intermediate difficulty while black runs are harder, and there are even double black diamond runs (some of which take you off a cliff, literally). But there is a place even easier than green. It has different names at different resorts, but the common name for it is the bunny slope. This very short, very gentle section even has a conveyor belt to get you back to the top to try again (usually called the “magic carpet.”)
Sadly, kids often get teased when they go to the bunny slopes. But I’m here to tell you not to despise the bunny slopes. This is where you learn the foundational skills that make all the exciting ski runs possible. Everyone starts on the bunny slopes.
Well, most everyone. I didn’t learn to ski on a bunny slope, and it actually created some bad habits in me that took years to fix.
See, my first time skiing was with my buddy, Nathan. He took me to the top of Vail, Colorado, and said, “It’s pretty easy. Just follow me and do what I do.” That was my whole training class.
I was athletic enough to figure it out by the end of the first run. Well, to be specific, I figured out how to turn–but not how to stop. In fact, for the first few years of my skiing, I actually could only stop by steering directly into the snowbank on the side of the trail and crashing to a stop.
Humble learners outperform proud posers.
If you are facing a big change, for you or your organization, don’t be too proud to start on the bunny slopes. The humility of being a beginner pays off big time in the long run. Trying to look like you already know it all might feel cool at first, but you end up doing dumb things later (like stopping by crashing at the end of every single run).
I skipped the bunny slopes, trying to get to the cool stuff right away, and I underperformed for years. Because of my impatience, I literally wiped out and had to put my skis back on at the end of every run.