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On The Edge

The Art of High-Impact Leadership

By Alison Levine
16-minute read
On The Edge: The Art of High-Impact Leadership by Alison Levine

This book is about how to be a great leader. Alison Levine shares her experiences from business and mountain climbing to illustrate that great leaders all have certain common traits – whether they're on a summit or in an office.

  • Anyone who has any kind of leadership role
  • Anyone interested in business or mountain climbing
  • Anyone who wants to help others perform at their best

Alison Levine serves on the board of the Coach K Center on Leadership & Ethics at Duke University. She's climbed the highest mountain on each continent, served as a captain of the first American Women’s Everest Expedition, and skied to both Poles. She's also worked on Wall Street as an associate with Goldman Sachs.

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On The Edge

The Art of High-Impact Leadership

By Alison Levine
  • Read in 16 minutes
  • Contains 10 key ideas
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On The Edge: The Art of High-Impact Leadership by Alison Levine
Synopsis

This book is about how to be a great leader. Alison Levine shares her experiences from business and mountain climbing to illustrate that great leaders all have certain common traits – whether they're on a summit or in an office.

Key idea 1 of 10

Team leaders need to empower every member of the team.

Failing to rise to a challenge never feels good. You'll end up wondering if things would've gone differently if you'd only been more ready. So when a team confronts a challenge, the team leaders need to be very prepared.

As a team leader, you always need to be in top form. You owe that to your team – they'll be expecting more from you than from the others. So leaders need to perform at the highest level, both physically and psychologically.

This means many things. For one, you'll need to condition yourself to be able to handle situations where you can't sleep. You never know when you'll have to face a crisis situation and stay up all night. This is true whether you're leading an expedition to Mount Everest, or a team of programmers in a company.

If you, as the leader, get stressed out about something minor like being tired, you'll stress the rest of your team out as well. So it's a good idea to “practice” sometimes, so you'll be ready when you have to experience it.

Good leaders also understand that it's their duty to inspire leadership in others. They need to ask team members to rise to new responsibilities, so they'll grow as leaders themselves.

This sort of leadership makes the team function more effectively, and also prepares them for the worst possible scenarios. This could be a matter of life or death in a place like the Himalayas.

Leaders should prepare their teams so well that they're skilled enough to move ahead with the mission even without the leader.

Leadership skills are essential, so you should never stop developing them.

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