On the Edge
On the Edge
The Art of High-Impact Leadership
Business Plus, Hardcover, 9781455544875, 242pp.
Publication Date: January 7, 2014
On the Edge is an engaging leadership manual that provides concrete insights garnered from various extreme environments ranging from Mt Everest to the South Pole. By reflecting on the lessons learned from her various expeditions, author Alison Levine makes the case that the leadership principles that apply in extreme adventure sport also apply in today's extreme business environments. Both settings require you to be able to make crucial decisions on the spot when the conditions around you are far from perfect. Your survival -and the survival of your team-depend on it. Featuring a Foreword from legendary Duke University basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski who knows all about leadership, On the Edge provides a framework to help people scale whatever big peaks they aspire to climb-be they literal or figurative-by offering practical, humorous, and often unorthodox advice about how to grow as a leader.
Levine is a sought-after keynote speaker on the topic of leadership development and has addressed audiences ranging from Fortune 500 companies to the World Economic Forum in Davos. Having spent prolonged periods of time in some of the world's most dangerous and inhospitable places, she addresses the topics of creating cohesive teams, taking responsible risks and developing no-nonsense leaders that can succeed in times of uncertainty.
Levine serves on the advisory board of the Coach K Center on Leadership & Ethics at Duke University and is a strategic advisor for the Thayer Leader Development Group at West Point. She was a contributing author to the book Leadership in Dangerous Situations: A Handbook for the Armed Forces, Emergency Services and First Responders (Naval Institute Press).
"A good read, filled with humor and shrewd observations about human nature."
-- The Wall Street Journal
Publisher's Weekly Starred Review
"In her assured, personable debut, Levine-team captain of the first American Women's Everest Expedition and a former associate at Goldman Sachs-takes lessons learned on the slopes of the world's tallest mountains and applies them to everyday business challenges for executives at all levels, as well as politicians, educators, and students. On the premise that "everyone is in a leadership position," Levine covers topics including extreme preparation, the importance of failure, succeeding in difficult conditions, networking, ego management, making the most of weakness, building trust and loyalty, and bringing your A-game to every challenge. Levine writes, "leadership in extreme environments requires the willpower, the teamwork, the high moral character, and the emotional intelligence necessary to overcome exceptional hurdles, solve complex problems, and face any sudden, uncontrollable, high-risk situation, including those that exist in today's business world." The book is best suited to readers looking for their advice framed in an adventure story; the lessons within are cast in broad strokes, appealing, perhaps, to business readers who prefer not to read the words "synergy" or "laser-focus" yet again. If they can get past the feeling of inferiority from reading the work of a business-savvy extreme climber who's also funny, readers will find much to learn here."
"On the Edge is terrific, containing a mountain of valuable leadership advice that will appeal to executives, politicians, educators and students, parents, and athletes and coaches. Levine's peak performances give a whole new meaning to the idea of a leadership summit." -- SUCCESS Magazine
"A unique approach to leadership development. While the advice in On the Edge might seem counterintuitive (like the practice of going without sleep or rewarding people who failed), Levine lays out her case using her signature humor style and real world examples from leaders in sports and the military, and she uses her own experiences as a mountaineer to support her unorthodox recommendations. On the Edge will make you re-think leadership."
--Shawn Achor, positive psychology researcher and NY Times bestselling author of Before Happiness
A completely different approach to leadership development that provides invaluable advice not only for business, but also for life's every-day challenges. Presented with humility and humor, ON THE EDGE guides us towards exploring the very best of ourselves.
--Jo Ann Ross, President, Network Sales, CBS Television Network
An irresistible book that gives readers a glimpse into the sensibilities of one of the finest natural leaders I have ever known. Alison Levine's ON THE EDGE offers amazing insights....timely, practical lessons and authentic inspiration delivered with candor and spunk.
-- Brigadier General (Ret.) Tom Kolditz Professor Emeritus, U.S. Military Academy, Dept. of Behavioral Sciences & Leadership
"Despite the fact that Alison Levine lectures at West Point (Go Navy!), her contrarian approach to leader development makes for a compelling read. Using her amazing experiences as an accomplished mountaineer, Levine relates remarkable insights while revealing how leadership skills can be learned in any kind of challenging environment -- whether it be in the corporate world or climbing peaks in sub-zero temperatures."
-- D. Michael Abrashoff, former Commander USS Benfold, Bestselling author of It's Your Ship