On The Edge by Alison Levine

Now a nytimes_03 Best Seller

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You want to talk leadership?

Imagine yourself on one of the highest mountain s in the world. You’re at 26,000 feet above sea level—a place known as the death zone; an elevation at which human beings cannot survive for long. Your brain and body are oxygen-starved. You have to deal with the physiological effects of extreme altitude along with bone-chilling temperatures, battering winds, and a climbing team that’s counting on all of its members to make smart decisions. There is simply no room for poor judgment.

Why? Because one mistake can result in an “unrecoverable error.” You can figure out what that means.

Of course you can’t control the environment; only the way you react to it. Be it a high mountain, a polar landscape, a military battlefield or any situation where lives on are the line or the stakes are exceptionally high—there’s no better training ground for leaders than settings where people are pushed beyond their perceived limits.

In On the Edge, Levine makes a compelling case that the leadership principles that apply in the world of extreme adventure also apply to today’s rigorously competitive business environments. Both settings require you to make critical decisions when the conditions around you are far from perfect. Your survival—and the survival of your team—totally depend on it.

The advice in the book comes not only from Levine’s own experiences in life or death situations, but also from lessons she has learned from decorated military officers, successful business leaders, and legendary sports heroes. Much of it is flat-out contrarian and flies in the face of what you’ve been told by well-known management gurus and highly-paid executive coaches: encourage big egos, go backward—away from your goal, ignore the rules, ditch the plan, deprive yourself of sleep, and reward failure. But it works for her. And it can work for you too.

On the Edge provides a roadmap to help you scale whatever big peaks you aspire to climb—be they literal or figurative—by offering practical, humorous, and often unorthodox advice about how to reach your potential as a leader.

 

Book Reviews

gold-star“In her assured, personable debut, Levine…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… A business-savvy extreme climber who’s also funny, readers will find much to learn here.”
—Publisher’s Weekly Starred Review

“A good read, filled with humor and shrewd observations about human nature.”
—The Wall Street Journal

“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

“Alison Levine will help you realize that extraordinary challenges are extraordinary for a reason…An engaging page-turner… I found myself utterly charmed and productively consumed.”
—Jack Covert, 800-CEO-READ