Leading at the Edge: Leadership Lessons from the the Extraordinary Saga of Shackleton's Antarctic Expedition
Dennis N. T. Perkins with Margaret P. Holtman, Paul Kessler, Catherine McCarthy
Description and Reviews
From The Publisher:
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, nothing 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 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 lessonscomplete with stirring examples from the Shackleton expedition, as well as contemporary business case studies of the strategies in actionon what it takes to be a great leader. Readers learn how to:
Dr. Perkins, a management consultant whose clients include American Express, Bose, Citibank, and Marriot is ... a connoisseur of leadership in circumstances of great peril. His new book offers lessons in leadership "at the outer limits of human endurance—the place I call The Edge." This thoughtful work has the feel of a lifelong obsession.... Dr. Perkins builds his corporate leadership text around the astonishing story of the British Imperial Trans-Antartic Expedition, led by Sir Ernest Shackleton.... Dr. Perkins offers us Ernest Shackleton as the model leader, a captain obsessed with the welfare of his men. Cautious or daring as circumstances required, Shackleton was a rock.... Dr. Perkins has distilled 10 principles from these survival experiences, and he offers them as a guide for business leadership at the edge.
—New York Times, May 28, 2000
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About the Authors
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 consultant with Organizational Psychologists, L.L.C.
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