The concept of “leadership” has a lot of currency these days, addressed in academic disciplines and institutes, and in countless corporate trainings and seminars. Regardless of the enterprise, there has to be some place in any management hierarchy that is indisputably the pinnacle, occupied by a person who is unquestionably recognized “the Boss.” But that … More Who’s in Charge? The Fundamentals of Leadership
“Spectacular achievements come from unspectacular preparation.”* The leaders of the most successful Antarctic expeditions knew this well. So do the most successful of entrepreneurs in any field. The most compelling parts of any expedition story always seem to begin when the unpredictable forces of nature seem ready to overwhelm, or when the glimmering hope of … More “Spectacular achievements come from unspectacular preparation.”
Like it or not, “luck” can have a lot to do with the outcomes of our efforts. Apparently random sequences of events beyond our control can determine the success of our endeavors, for good or ill. The most carefully planned and industriously executed plans can come to naught, or worse, in the sudden confluence of … More ”Luck” and Discovery
It’s never too late to have another try. Life, business, and polar discovery can all be described as an ongoing chain of decisions, each devolving from the results of those that have gone before. Sometimes an unanticipated upset overtakes and dooms even the best-laid of plans. But as some of the explorers’ life stories can … More Inspiration, Will, and Forethought
While holding a book event for “When Your Life Depends on It” yesterday, I was asked to talk about some of the bad decisions that were made. A very short, unqualified answer could be: “There are no bad decisions, only bad results.” Decisions quickly made under extreme circumstances in the face of sudden unforeseen hardships … More Re: What About the Bad Decisions?
The two conferences previously mentioned (the SouthPole-sium v3 and the meeting of the Shackleton Appreciation Society) with their hopefully biennial convocations each have a social and educational value far in excess of their modest cost. Although neither—relatively informal as they are—will add much luster to your academic portfolio, you may well learn as much from … More On the Value of Informal Antarctic Conferences
Two Antarctic Conferences in one week. The timing could not have been better. The first to be scheduled was Rob Stephenson’s “SouthPole-sium” in Oslo, the third biennial meeting of like-minded Antarctic aficionados. Sixty-six of us—authors, scientists, veterans of the ice, book collectors, and most importantly by now, old friends and new—convened at the Fram Museum … More “When Your Life Depends on It: Extreme Decision-Making Lessons from the Antarctic” International Book Launch: Oslo, May 13, 2017