Our leadership and teamwork keynotes use stories of adventure and survival to help leaders, teams and organizations overcome daunting challenges and reach their greatest potential. Click here to check Dennis’ availability.

For the past 30 years, we have studied leaders and teams facing the limits of human endurance—a place we call The Edge. From our research, we have identified critical strategies that can be applied in any demanding environment.

Our two riveting presentations feature dramatic stories recounted in our best-selling books. These stories provide compelling examples of the extraordinary difference that strong leadership and teamwork can make under conditions of adversity, uncertainty and change.

Incorporating our own photos and video from Antarctica and the Sydney to Hobart Race, the presentations vividly illustrate how the strategies used by leaders and teams at The Edge can be applied to any organizational challenge.

The presentations are perfect for any organization interested in taking a fresh, innovative approach to leadership and teamwork. The programs incorporate opportunities for group discussion and will identify ways in which the adventure story can be applied to your team.

Whichever gripping presentation is chosen, the experience will provide an invaluable guide for Leadership and Teamwork at The Edge!

Our Keynotes:

Timeless Leadership Lessons from Shackleton’s Epic Antarctic Expedition

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Our Leadership at The Edge keynote recounts the saga of legendary Antarctic explorer, Sir Ernest Shackleton.

On December 5, 1914, Shackleton and 27 men sailed from South Georgia Island in the Southern Ocean aboard a wooden vessel named Endurance. They set out on a formidable mission: to be the first explorers to cross the Antarctic continent.

Forty five days after their departure, disaster struck. Endurance was beset by solid pack ice, and the expedition was trapped. For nearly two years, Shackleton and his crew were stranded in the icy sea. They endured unimaginable hardships: brutal cold, total darkness, aching thirst, gnawing hunger, constant danger, and utter desolation. Facing these challenges with astonishing good cheer, Shackleton and his crew returned, without loss of life, after 634 days in the Frozen South.

  • How did Shackleton inspire his crew to such extraordinary levels of courage, unity, and commitment?
  • Our gripping presentation answers this question and reveals Ten Critical Strategies for Leadership at The Edge.
  • The program highlights the power of effective leadership, and emphasizes Shackleton’s role in the success of the Endurance expedition.

 

Critical Teamwork Lessons from the World’s Toughest Ocean Races

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Our Teamwork at The Edge keynote recounts the contemporary story of the AFR Midnight Rambler, winners of the treacherous 1998 Sydney to Hobart Race.

This 723-mile, deep water challenge—often called the Everest of offshore ocean racing—is considered one of the toughest in the world. Unpredictable weather and seas make each race particularly challenging, but the 1998 race proved to be the most perilous in the race’s 61-year history.

The fleet of 115 boats was hit by an unexpected weather bomb off the coast of Australia. The massive storm created 80-foot waves and near 100 mph winds. Six sailors perished in the maelstrom, and another 42 were saved in what became the largest search and rescue operation in Australia’s history.

Many boats tried to maneuver around the storm, but the crew of the Midnight Rambler believed their best chance of survival was to head directly into its path. After battling mountainous waves and hurricane force winds, the diminutive 35-foot boat arrived safely in Tasmania, and the crew was awarded the coveted race trophy, the Tattersall’s Cup. The Midnight Rambler was the smallest boat in 10 years to win the iconic race.

The Ramblers’ decision to head into the eye of the storm, along with their extraordinary tenacity, courage, and teamwork, enabled the crew to survive and triumph at The Edge.

  • What were the factors beneath this stunning victory?
  • Our captivating presentation answers this question and shares Ten Critical Strategies for Teamwork at The Edge.
  • This program uses the lens of distributed leadership to explore how team members can work together to survive and triumph against tough obstacles and fierce competition.