Category Archives: Leadership

What can Everest teach us?

Although I am known for pioneering new routes on some of the world’s highest, most difficult mountains, I think I learnt some of the fundamental rules of survival much closer to home very early on in my climbing career. Aged 17, I spent a week with two mountain guides in Scotland, climbing and learning everyday. The guides were extremely experienced mountaineers, having climbed, among other things, new routes on Mount Everest.

How do great teams work?

So you have a clear objective and the funds, now you need a team with motivation to achieve the common goal. First, you need to be explicit about the goal. Obvious, maybe, but it’s not always the case that team members are ‘singing from the same hymn sheet’. It is essential that everyone is clear about the over-riding objective.

How much does an expedition cost?

After delivering a speech on Intelligent Risk Taking to leaders of Pepsi last week, I was asked ‘How do you pay for these expeditions?’ Good point. You have your vision, your inspiring objective – of following Shackelton’s journey across South Georgia or skiing down Everest – but where is the cash coming from?

Finding an inspirational objective

Incontrovertibly, a leader must be capable of conceiving a vision and then gathering together a team and the resources necessary to achieve it. As a leader of expeditions in the mountains the challenge is the same: how do you first discover and then clarify worthwhile objectives? Well, you could do a lot worse than spend time at The Alpine Club, Charlotte Road, London.