What can an Antarctic expedition teach you about leadership?
More than you might think!
If you think your job is tough, try leading a one–year expedition where you′re on duty all day, every day. Where it′s cold, windy, dark and desolate. And you′re stuck inside with 17 strangers.
Rachael Robertson was one of the youngest people to ever lead an Antarctic expedition and one of the first women. In this incredible pressure–cooker environment, Rachael was forced to develop strategies to deal with the isolation, scrutiny and demands of extreme leadership. With no way in, and no way out, she had to make it work.
An inspiring leadership story packed with ideas, insights and strategies, Leading on the Edge will teach you how to:
- deal effectively with ambiguity and the grey areas leaders face
- generate trust and loyalty in those around you
- understand why respect is more critical than harmony
- check in on people, track progress and manage risk
- inspire through the lean times and lead through the tough times
- survive the scrutiny of leadership and look after yourself.
Whether you lead or aspire to lead, this book is your guide to becoming an authentic, resilient, innovative leader who gets the best out of your team.
Part I: How I got there 1
1 Leadership can be learned, and taught, early 3
2 Very few decisions in life are irreversible, so make some! 11
3 Always look for ways to extend yourself 19
4 Get out of your depth — it’s a great way to learn to swim 25
5 Don’t expect leadership to be an easy ride 31
Part II: Antarctica beckons 37
6 Sometimes the right thing happens for the wrong reason! 39
7 People notice when you try to be someone you’re not 47
8 You know people by what they do, not what they say they do 55
9 First prepare yourself, then leave your comfort zone 63
Part III: Preparing to leave 71
10 Seeing what’s wrong is easy — the hard part is the fix 73
11 Understand the game, and play your hand carefully 85
12 Ask ‘why?’, then keep asking why 95
13 Adventure is not without risk 105
14 Try to stay positive: even the stormiest seas eventually subside 111
15 A handpicked support team can be essential 119
Part IV: Summer in Antarctica 127
16 Make the right decision the right way 129
17 Step up onto the balcony — but you’ll need time and support 137
18 Ambiguity and leadership go hand in hand 145
19 Feeling stressed and overworked? It could be your boundaries 153
20 Good leaders know when to show emotion 163
21 Think ahead and know what you will do in an emergency 171
22 When you’re spending all your time managing, don’t forget to lead 179
Part V: Antarctic winter 189
23 It’s important to know your people, not just the work they do 191
24 As a leader you are being watched, always 201
25 Find a reason, any reason, to celebrate 207
26 Check in on your people: ask R U OK? 219
27 Take care of the little things 227
28 Judgement comes with experience 235
29 ‘No triangles’ takes effort and persistence 241
30 Watch out for three–quarter time — keep your energy up 249
Part VI: The return 259
31 Go the distance 261
Appendix A: What it takes to be an inspirational leader 275
Appendix B: Build teamwork with ‘no triangles’ 281
Rachael Robertson is one of the most in–demand inspirational business speakers and leadership consultants in the world. After more than 20 years′ experience leading teams in complex and challenging environments, Rachael is now transforming leadership around the globe.