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Senin, 14 Mei 2012

Leading At The Edge, Second Edition by Dennis N.T. Perkins - Book review

Leading at The Edge

Leadership Lessons from the Extraordinary Saga of Shackleton's Antarctic Expedition, Second Edition

By: Dennis N.T. Perkins, Ph.D.

Published: March 28, 2012
Format: Paperback, 288 pages
ISBN-10: 0814431941
ISBN-13: 978-0814431948
Publisher: AMACOM

"The Shackleton expedition's extraordinary tale is one of the most exciting stories of polar exploration. It is a story about a leader and a group of explorers who endured conditions of hardship and deprivation more extreme than most of us can even imagine", writes chief executive officer of The Syncretics Group, Dennis N.T. Perkins, Ph.D., in his leadership lesson and wisdom filled book Leading at The Edge: Leadership Lessons from the Extraordinary Saga of Shackleton's Antarctic Expedition, Second Edition. The author shares the leadership lessons gleaned from his study and description of the famous Shackleton expedition to the South Pole; and presents his Ten Strategies for Success that demonstrate effective leadership principles during difficult times.

Dennis Perkins understands the importance of good leadership, and especially leadership during very stressful times and circumstances. The author offers the story of Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton as an example of great leadership during the most difficult conditions imaginable. Dennis Perkins terms this extreme situational leadership as leading at the edge. The leadership principles practiced by Shackleton provide an striking example of effective leadership and maintaining a cohesive group of followers despite facing nearly impossible odds of survival. In an environment of bitter cold, heavy ice, shortages of food, and complete isolation, Shackleton not only welded the group together, but also in good spirits, and very much alive.

Dennis N.T. Perkins (photo left) recognizes the importance of teamwork and leadership in all situations. The author also knows the critical role that leadership and a cohesive team play in those very challenging times of strife. The analysis of the leadership techniques employed by Shackleton point out the difference between survival and disaster hinges on the leader. The role of the leader is magnified in times of trouble, and at the edge of possible oblivion, is when true leadership skills are needed most.

Dennis Perkins offers the ten most important leadership strategies utilized by Ernest Shackleton, and how they ensured his crew's survival, when other Antarctic teams perished in that hostile environment. The ten strategies include:

* Never lose sight of the ultimate goal and focus energy on short term objectives
* Set a personal example
* Instill optimism and self confidence but keep an eye on reality
* Take care of yourself
* Reinforce the team message: We are one and live or die togerher
* Minimizes status differences
* Master conflict within the group
* Find reasons to celebrate and to laugh
* Be willing to take a big risk
* Never give up, as there is always another move

For me, the power of the book is how Dennis Perkins combines the story of Sir Ernest Shackleton and how he led his crew to survive, with a practical set of leadership strategies based on those employed by that polar explorer. The author combines a fascinating account of the Shackleton expedition with a series of ten strategies based on those used by Sir Ernest. The author further illustrates his Ten Strategies for Success through a number of case studies of the strategies in action in other perilous settings.

Dennis Perkins demonstrates the crucial elements of effective leadership on what he calls the edge, where failure to lead will end in disaster or even death. With this overarching concern in mind, the author offers hands on advice, and self analysis tools for anyone to enhance and constantly improve their own leadership skills.

I highly recommend the empowering and very engaging book Leading at The Edge: Leadership Lessons from the Extraordinary Saga of Shackleton's Antarctic Expedition, Second Edition by Dennis N.T. Perkins, Ph.D., to anyone seeking a very different type of leadership book that stretches the concepts of effective leadership to the limit and discovers success. This book will change the way you think about and approach leadership in a crisis situation, where failure will end in disaster, and survival is of the essence.

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