Dr. Howard Dittrich

Back in 1993, I began to work with a very interesting person, a researcher at the University of California, San Diego, Dr. Howard Dittrich.

It was challenging trying to work with him, every meeting there was either an admin or a ringing cellphone competing for his attention.

He was harried, stressed, and overwhelmed. Unbeknownst to him, he was in a storm. Not only was he a researcher, he had cardiology patients, he had two compounds that were going through clinical trials, he was also a consultant for a major biotech company, and on top of all this, he had his family, a wife and two young children.

After one of our meetings, I noticed an internet jack on his wall. This was pre-email so I asked if I could work on something in my off time. He agreed and I set up a system that got him coordinated, similar to what we have now with Outlook, Google calendar, or Exchange.

Months later, when our project ended successfully he said, “You know what Mike, I don’t want you to go. I really like where this is going.

Great, I thought.

Then came the debrief meeting.

I was going to give you the biggest pat on the back. I wanted to say, ‘I think this project has been very successful, it has brought my team closer together, we are coordinated and we are getting more done than ever.' But just the other day my wife and I bought a puppy. We were sitting at home in La Jolla and, while I was physically present, I was thinking about work.

-Dr. Dittrich

Dr Dittrich By Tatyana-Final-02

I realized that in the end a lot of what we had done just sped things up. The solution for Dr. Dittrich’s storm wasn’t technology, but a methodology.

Fortunately, my background is in climbing and in climbing we use systems for everything. I started applying those systems to Dr. Dittrich’s storm and started to see great results.

I refined the system and in 2001 my partner and I started Sherpa Performance Guides. We named the company after the Sherpas who saved my life when I tried to climb a peak eight miles southeast of Mt. Everest in 1998.

Since then we have guided more than 435 executives to be peak performers in their storms. Every day I wake up excited about upcoming sessions and working with clients, helping them climb their peak and becoming peak performers in their own storm.