About Lead Like a Guide
After climbing a high peak as a member of a guide-led team, I began to investigate how world-class mountain guides successfully lead teams in remote and challenging environments. I wanted to know if the way guides lead in the mountains could serve as a model for leaders in today's organizations. Over the past decade I conducted extensive interviews with a select group of highly accomplished international mountain guides, and organized a series of educational expeditions with expert guides and over 200 participants in North America, Peru, Patagonia, Mexico, Canada, and Iceland.
I learned that mountain guides actively model leadership in a way that inspires and motivates a team to work well with others, adapt to change, focus on strengths, develop trusting relationships, build comfort with uncertainty, and take a broad view.
Isn't this exactly how leaders in business and non-profit organizations should lead?
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About Dr. Chris Maxwell
Chris Maxwell, PhD, is currently working on a book about the leadership strengths of world-class mountain guides, and how these can be productively applied in your own life and work. His latest article, To be a better leader, lead like a guide, was published in the November/December 2014 issue of the European Business Review.
Chris taught a course on leadership and teamwork at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School for 15 years, and created an experiential leadership development program for undergraduate business students at Wharton that took him and over 200 participants to high peaks and trails around the world. What his expedition participants learned about leadership, from their guides and from their own experiences in challenging environments, is being put into practice in business and nonprofit organizations far and wide.
Chris earned a graduate degree in Applied Positive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania - the first university in the world to offer graduate training in Positive Psychology - and holds a PhD with concentrations in organizational theory, public management, and health policy from Penn State University. Chris is currently a Senior Fellow, Center for Leadership and Change Management, at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.