Wow! Ed Viesturs has done it. He finally finished his quest to summit the 14 highest mountains in the world, each - get this - without the assistance of oxygen. He summited Annapurna yesterday after a grueling 19-hr summit push. Although I'm not much of a mountaineer, I have followed Ed's accomplishments with a high degree of respect for a number of reasons.

First, he does it “right“. On more than one occasion, he has made the decision to turn around when conditions look bad, even when he could actually see the summit a mere 20 feet away. Think it takes courage to climb mountains? How about the courage to pull the plug after countless hours, energy, financial investment, and support from sponsors? People that do it “right” - the smart way, with a commitment to a sense of values, deserve our highest regard. (His mantra? “Getting up is optional. Getting down is mandatory.")

Second, he does it with an amazing blend of confidence and humility. He's arguably one of the greatest climbers ever. Despite the accomplishments, all who have met him proclaim Ed to be a straight-up guy that is quick to smile and offer an engaging one-liner. There is a reason his slideshow tours are packed with standing-room-only crowds. Ed himself has hilariously referred to these shows as “The Grateful Ed Tour” in response to those that follow from city to city to hear him speak.

In a world of pro athletes that complain about contracts or adopt “win at any cost” approaches, we're lucky there are people like Ed that rise above the fray to remind us how it should be done in our work and personal pursuits.