Leading at the Edge
Leadership Lessons from the Extraordinary Saga of Shackleton's Antarctic Expedition
by Dennis N. T. Perkins, Margaret P. Holtman, Paul R. Kessler, Catherine McCarthy
From Publishers Weekly - "Although their experiences may sometimes seem torturous, most managers aren't facing dangerous or life-threatening conditions. Even so, argues consultant Perkins, they would do well to learn from both triumphant and failed expeditions. A former Marine lieutenant, Perkins introduces 10 key concepts he believes are essential to productive leadership with lively anecdotes from the adverse but ultimately successful expedition to the South Pole led by Ernest Shackleton in 1914 (his entire crew survived on the ice with almost no supplies or hope for rescue after their ship drifted off course and was crushed), which he contrasts with a disastrous Canadian expedition launched at almost the same time. Among the principles in the book's first half: 'Minimize status differences and insist on courtesy and mutual respect'; 'Take care of yourself, maintain your stamina and let go of your guilt'; 'Set a personal example with visible, memorable symbols and behaviors.' He also suggests that managers can benefit by keeping an 'expedition log' in which they write about their current work situations. The second half of the book consists of four business case studies, including one of Malden Mills, a family-owned company that remained open despite fires that virtually shut down its operations. Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc."
Part adventure story, part leadership guide, this intriguing book examines Shackletons legendary Antarctic expedition through the lens of business to reveal a set of powerful strategies for corporate leaders. In the chronicles of extraordinary adventures and against the-odds survival, nothing compares to the story of Sir Ernest Shackleton and his team of Antarctic explorers. Stranded in the frozen sea for nearly two years, they endured extreme temperatures, hazardous ice, dwindling food, complete isolation, and perpetual blackness. Yet, despite the seemingly insurmountable obstacles, the group remained cohesive, congenial, and mercifully alive a fact that speaks not just to luck but to an unparalleled feat in leadership.
Now, for the first time ever, LEADING AT THE EDGE draws on this amazing story to reveal the power of effective organizational leadership under conditions of uncertainty, ambiguity, and rapid change. The book uncovers 10 lessons complete with stirring examples from the Shackleton expedition, as well as contemporary business case studies of the strategies in action on what it takes to be a great leader. Readers learn how to: *Set a personal example with vivid symbols and behaviors *Instill optimism while staying grounded in reality *Reinforce the team message constantly *Find something to celebrate and something to laugh about *Have the courage to take big risks, and more.
For managers and executives who feel stressed out or stretched thin, these memorable strategies will help bring order to chaos and success in the face of the most daunting adversity.