Feb. 25, 2022

Jamie Clarke - mentor, explorer, entrepreneur

Why generosity is integral in mentorship
Jamie Clarke

Jamie Clarke, is a seasoned business man, author, high performance coach, and adventurer. Clarke has climbed Mount Everest four times, summiting twice, and is one of just a few hundred people who have completed the Seven Summits, climbing the highest mountain of each of the seven traditional continents. Clarke has traversed Arabia's Empty Quarter on camel-back, motorbiked across Mongolia and explored the wilderness of Israel, Jordan, Turkey, Egypt, Kenya, Tanzania, Madagascar and the Comoros, travelling almost entirely on foot.  Clearly, Clarke is an accomplished adventurer, but in an age where all the information we could ever need is at our fingertips, Clarke contests that mentorship is still one of, if not, the most effective means of passing on and absorbing knowledge.

For Clarke, mentorship is integral to the leadership development journey for both the mentee and the mentor. The mentorship process, he explains, is reciprocal in nature. Mentees learn leadership through the knowledge and tales of personal experiences shared by the mentor, especially when the mentor is generous with this information. This exchange of information is a two-way street, so the mentors themselves acquire new information and anecdotes they can apply in their own leadership development journey.

Clarke experienced first-hand the exchange of knowledge between a mentor and a mentee in his relationship with Laurie Skreslett, the first Canadian to summit Mount Everest.

"He was, in one word, generous. Generous with everything he had learned. Didn't guard any secrets," says Clarke.

Skreslett, invited Clarke (a self-described ‘punk kid’ at the time) into his home, giving an extensive tour of his collection of mountaineering gear, sharing his knowledge in the process. Skreslett even went as far as letting Jamie borrow the gear and modify it to best fit his needs. This unbridled generosity was immensely helpful for Clarke's development as a climber and as a leader and he now carries that same attitude when mentoring others.

Clarke is also a highly sought-after mentor for high-performance athletes, working with the NFL, Hockey Canada and the 2018 Stanley Cup-winning Washington Capitals. As a keynote speaker, Clarke has spoken on behalf of some of the world's largest companies to packed auditoriums

Students working on their leadership development journey through the CCAL offerings will now be able to access perspectives and support from Clarke in his role as adjunct associate professor.

For more information, contact leadership@haskayne.ucalgary.ca or visit our website.

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