Summary of On the Edge

Leadership Lessons from Mount Everest and Other Extreme Environments

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On the Edge book summary
Leadership skills help you thrive in a harsh environment, whether it’s Mt. Everest or the global marketplace.


8 Overall

8 Applicability

8 Innovation

8 Style


Extreme athlete Alison Levine describes the leadership skills that helped her reach the summit of Mt. Everest and explains how the same skills can help you navigate today’s tumultuous, fast-changing business environment. She shows why leadership fundamentals like teamwork, flexibility and agility are essential whether you’re contending with a blizzard in the Himalayas or handling a disruption in the technology market. This is an unusual business manual. Instead of flow charts, Levine offers tableaux of subzero temperatures and perilous precipices in exotic locales like Kathmandu, Indonesia and Antarctica. You’ve heard her leadership concepts before: Learn from your failures; guard against complacency; break out of your comfort zone. But, these ideas take on new vibrancy against the backdrop of the world’s highest peaks. Levine’s friendly, chatty voice sparks her vivid storytelling, which is peppered with earthy wisecracks. getAbstract recommends her business manual-slash-travelogue to adventurous managers and entrepreneurs who want to push their boundaries.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How summiting Mt. Everest teaches important lessons about leadership
  • How to apply the leadership skills of extreme athletes to business
  • Why you should act like a leader no matter what your job is


Leadership Summit
How can a modern company contend with today’s global competition, austere budgets and rapid change? It can operate the way a mountaineer does to stay alive while scaling Mt. Everest – by exercising bold leadership. That means mastering team building, making quick decisions...
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About the Author

Alison Levine led the first American Women’s Everest Expedition in 2002. She summited the highest peaks on seven continents and skied to the North and South Poles. Formerly an adjunct professor at the US Military Academy at West Point, she is now a speaker on leadership.

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