Having recently returned from 12 days of hiking and camping at a Mount Everest Base Camp, Maike Kleier, Customer Strategy Developer at Bosch, reminded us all that we should try to view life from different perspectives, particularly one from 5,550 meters high…
What is your role at Bosch, Maike?
As Customer Strategy Developer for the Jaguar Land Rover account my key responsibility is to act as the main information hub to all matters of strategic relevance to our customer and Bosch. I am responsible for developing long-term production forecasts, tracking and analysis of KPIs and the organisation of senior management events.
Why did you decide to spend 12 days at Mount Everest Base Camp?
From the end of February to March, I spent 12 days on the adventure of a lifetime. We were on a 12-day track at a Mount Everest Base Camp going up to 5,550 meters high. Hiking in the Himalayas and being surrounded by the highest mountains on earth was always a dream of mine. Being up so high up in the clouds really puts things into perspective. It made me realise how small we are in comparison to the power of nature. It also made me aware that anything is possible if you work hard enough and believe in yourself. For me, this trek was a journey of mindfulness.
You describe it as a ‘journey of mindfulness’, why is that?
It is no question that I was faced with an extreme physical challenge during those 12 days. At increasing altitude, we hiked about 6 hours every day.
In some ways, however, the challenge was only 20 percent physical, as the other 80 percent of the time it was a battle of conflicting thoughts and controlling my mind. Especially when I faced snow storms and temperatures of -20 degrees, keeping my focus on taking one step at a time was the key to keep going.
What was the main highlight of your trip?
The main highlight and main purpose of my trip was to be able to donate the money I have been raising back home with my fellow BWTC associates. My passion initially started with Yoga, which I have practising for 8 years. I decided that ahead of my trip, I could offer my colleagues free classes, in exchange for a donation of their choice. When I was back in Kathmandu, we found a school that we decided to give the £100 that we raised to and we bought them new stationary and toys. Everyone who donated received a personal ‘thank you’ note from all the young students there – it was a really rewarding experience to jointly achieve this with my colleagues and help make the world a better place. It also made me realise that even the smallest gesture can make a significant difference.
How did the experience affect your professional life and mind-set at Bosch?
I have learned to believe that growing our mental awareness enables us to maximise our potential, not just in our personal lives, but in our professional lives, too. From a business perspective it helps us to understand each other better and improve the way we work together.
My journey on Everest made me realise that as a team you can achieve so much more than by yourself and can jointly reach new heights. Growing our mental awareness enables us to maximise our potential in all areas of life.
Would you do it again?
Absolutely. Hiking mountains has increased my mental strength tremendously and taught me to always keep going; even in difficult times. “Always aim high” – I read this quote somewhere along the way. To test my mental strength, my dream is to one day climb to the top of Mount Everest.
Anything else you’d like to add?
I think the pictures speak for themselves…