Leading at the Edge: Leadership Lessons from the Limits of Human Endurance - the Extraordinary Saga of Shackleton's Antarctic Expedition by Margaret P. Holtman, Paul R. Kessler, Dennis N. T. Perkins, Catherine McCarthy (Hardback, 2000)
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Part adventure story, part leadership guide, this intriguing book examines Shackleton's 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, thing compares to the story of Sir Ernest Shackleton and his team of South Pole 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 t 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; and, 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 .
Dennis N. T. Perkins, Ph.D. (Branford, CT) is president of the Syncretics Group, a consultancy that specializes in effective leadership. Margaret P. Holtman is director of employee development at Hartford Life, Inc. Paul R. Kessler is a managing consultant at Stromberg Consulting. Catherine McCarthy, Ph.D., is a principal of the consulting firm Kaye & McCarthy.
Catherine McCarthy, Dennis N. T. Perkins, Margaret P. Holtman, Paul R. Kessler