High Himalayan Motor Cycle Tour Guide: Kate Oliver: Inspiring Leadership interview with Jonathan Bowman-Perks
Kate Oliver is a motorcycle tour leader and leads tours in the High Himalaya in India, Sikkim and Nepal.
She is also a qualified stone mason, a poet, writer and a member of Kellogg College Oxford Alumni where she studied for her Masters Degree in Creative Writing and critical practice. Although she has received no formal leadership training she has been required to show inspirational leadership to take her customers on two week tours in the Himalaya on Royal Enfield Motorcycles where altitudes of up to 18 000 feet, meltwater crossings, rock falls and landslides are the norm. Coupled with altitude sickness, egos and ad hoc teams of strong willed but sometimes low skilled riders, she has learnt to be empathetic to enable her customers to put their egos aside, express their fears and overcome the considerable challenges they encounter.
She is not inspired by any one person in particular and is wary of perpetuating the myths surrounding some of the ‘great’ leaders. Her leadership abilities have come from a variety of people she has encountered and of course by solving the people-problems she regularly faces on adventure motorcycle tours.
Kate and her husband David Hudson love to continually challenged themselves in the most remote and extreme parts of the world. Both of them keep themselves incredibly fit and healthy and enjoy developing leadership in other business leaders who want to stretch themselves by joining these to us and experiencing parts the world they are never likely to see you again. Many things impress me about Kate but if you stand out: a calmness and her modesty and humility, the fact that she has experienced such a diverse range of roles and life experiences.
She takes a real pleasure in her tours: No day is the same as the next and whether they can suddenly find that the road has been washed away by an avalanche or that they have to push their bikes across a deep icy cold river to get to the far side – all of these challenges provide stretching opportunity for her and the leaders who join the tours.