Cairn Leadership

About Tim Satterthwaite

Personal Developer. Canoe fanatic. Learner. Before coming to Cairn, Tim has worked as a civil engineer, market research consultant, canoe and dog-sledding guide and international experiential education instructor. He has seen the power of the outdoors as a catalyst for personal growth through expeditions in Northern Minnesota, Manitoba, South East Asia, Chilean Patagonia, and East Africa. His passion for personal development brought him back to a Master’s program at Vanderbilt University where he is currently studying Leadership and Organizational Performance. When not in a canoe, you can find Tim experimenting with his backyard compost setup, playing rugby, or exploring the green spaces of Nashville.

From a formative age, the outdoors was a classroom for growth, experiencing leadership for the first time as an Eagle Scout. Formally trained as a civil environmental engineer, Tim’s love for developing people started when he was swim team captain. Having worked as an international experiential education instructor, his experience has taken him to Manitoba, South East Asia, Chilean Patagonia and East Africa.

Why do you love guiding for Cairn Leadership Strategies & the mission at Cairn?

We talk about building an intentional community – these connections are formed through shared experiences, particularly if they are challenging. It forces a level of disconnect that you don’t get in your day to life and it forces you to be present, to bring your view down to the ground and the trail in front of you.

What is one of the most important leadership competencies we teach, and what have you learned about it through guiding?

Core values. There is a discernment that happens after these trips. The power of having to articulate your values and be questioned on them really makes you fine tune them.

Why should leaders and professionals spend more time exploring outside?

Perspective. It’s very easy to be comfortable in your daily routine, to have an illusion of control. Getting outside gives you a new perspective on how you engage with the environment and the people around you.

How do you define crux?

The hardest part – it’s the part that you have to solve in order to overcome the challenge. Crux is valuable, it holds a lot of weight. I recognized that my path was going to look much different than the people around me. I let my passion speak for me.