The Living Room (Issue 1024)

In which we are reminded that, while leading a team toward a major sale, it’s good to watch out along the way for organizational “snakes” that may not be so thrilled to see us come past them toward our prize.


Earlier this year, I visited friends in Salt Lake City. They are quite outdoorsy. I was eager for a taste of their hiking experiences, so we set off to visit “The Living Room.”

The Living Room Trail is an out-and-back trail up Red Butte just behind the University of Utah. It’s a climb, all the way – 900-foot elevation gain in just over 1.25 miles. In many places, the trail is a stormwater run-off channel – sides steeply pitched, walking surface uneven and rocky.

The trail leads to an outlook point from which you can see the city and the valley all the way out to the Great Salt Lake, Antelope Island, and the Oquirrh Mountains on the other side of the valley. Spectacular view. The trail is called “The Living Room” because, at the end of the trail, hikers have created “stone age furniture”, several chairs, out of large, flat, sandstone slabs.

Once home, I shared this story with another experienced hiker friend who asked, “Did you see any snakes or other trail life?”

“Good question,” I said. “I wasn’t looking for it. Why do you ask?”

“My husband and I were out hiking in South Dakota. The Black Hills. Great views, lots to see. I took a big step up on a rock to get a better view and I heard a rattle. I looked down and, to my horror, saw that I had stepped OVER a rattlesnake, coiled up in the shadow of the rock, preparing to strike.”

She paused for a moment.

“Happily, it didn’t.” I exhaled. “We were a 90-minute walk from our car and two hours from medical help.”

“So,” she said, “It’s good to stop from time to time to take in the view and, while you’re moving, no matter how great the view, it’s good to watch each step as you pass lest you twist an ankle or rouse a sleeping snake.”

Nick Miller and Clarity train banks and bankers to attract and develop deeper relationships with small businesses. Many more Sales Thoughts like this and a host of other articles and resources at .

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