Climbing to the Top with Gary Williams

Finding the right way to accomplish life and career goals can seem like an insurmountable challenge at times. Marriott School Honored Alum Gary Williams felt that way as he made his way to the top of various companies. Today we’re throwing back to an article from our Winter 2004 issue, where Williams shared his advice on making the journey enjoyable and fulfilling.

Williams, former CEO and president of Sterling Wentworth Corporation/SunGard Expert Solutions, advises students to stay true to themselves as they plan for the future. He compares life’s journey to his experience climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro—grueling at times but worth the work.

“Your career is one of the most important summits you will ascend—one that requires much planning and attention to the route that you will travel,” he said. “The ultimate goal may require a combination of years of education, followed by on-the-job training, certifications, tutoring, mentoring, and learning through trial and error. Once we reach the final summit, we may walk the distance alone or lead those who have followed us.”

In the article he shares his method for reaching goals—plan, prepare, listen, and obey—and tells how he benefited from these steps while scaling the highest free-standing mountain in the world.

For more on tackling challenges, read the article by the most recent Honored Alum, Richard Herlin, who explores the same concept of rising up to face tough decisions.

Photo credit: On the Go Tours