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High Altitude Leadership

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High Altitude Leadership

What the World's Most Forbidding Peaks Teach Us About Success


15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Lessons learned on the world’s highest mountains can help you reach your peak as a leader.

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Chris Warner certainly is not the first mountain climber to chronicle harrowing journeys and near-death experiences scaling the high peaks of the Himalayas. What makes Warner unique is his ability to extract critical lessons from his adventures and shape them to be relevant for business leaders at sea level. Warner and Don Schmincke have produced a fascinating book that pinpoints the qualities managers need to not just survive, but thrive. Bravery, teamwork and decisiveness, they say, are just as important in the conference room as on the Khumbu Ice Fall of Mt. Everest. getAbstract recommends the authors’ sage advice. You’ll find yourself on solid footing as you negotiate the higher elevations of leadership.


Climb Higher

What do a mountain climber leading an expedition in the Himalayas and a corporate leader managing a company have in common? Although circumstances at 26,000 feet (7,900 meters) clearly are different than those in the office, both leaders frequently face dire situations. You need the same attributes for conquering impossibly difficult peaks that you need for maneuvering organizations through a maze of business challenges. The qualities that allow individuals to reach the summit of Mt. Everest also enable business leaders to perform at high levels.

Like mountain climbers in the Death Zone, executives and managers must make instinctive, critical decisions that will avert danger or trigger an avalanche. Their businesses may be struggling to survive, placing the workforce in a “life-or-death” situation. Meeting the demands of “high altitude leadership” is a huge challenge that requires understanding the eight greatest dangers managers face. How you respond determines whether you succeed or fail.

“Danger No. 1: Fear of Death”

Author Chris Warner was on a particularly difficult expedition on K2, the world’s second highest summit, when one of the...

About the Authors

Chris Warner is an educator and entrepreneur who has led more than 150 international mountaineering expeditions. Don Schmincke is a management consultant and founder of the SAGA Leadership Institute.

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