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On the Edge: The Art of High-Impact Leadership

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On the Edge is an engaging leadership manual that provides concrete insights garnered from various extreme environments ranging from Mt Everest to the South Pole. By reflecting on the lessons learned from her various expeditions, author Alison Levine makes the case that the leadership principles that apply in extreme adventure sport also apply in today's extreme business e On the Edge is an engaging leadership manual that provides concrete insights garnered from various extreme environments ranging from Mt Everest to the South Pole. By reflecting on the lessons learned from her various expeditions, author Alison Levine makes the case that the leadership principles that apply in extreme adventure sport also apply in today's extreme business environments. Both settings require you to be able to make crucial decisions on the spot when the conditions around you are far from perfect. Your survival—and the survival of your team—depend on it. On the Edge provides a framework to help people scale whatever big peaks they aspire to climb-be they literal or figurative-by offering practical, humorous, and often unorthodox advice about how to grow as a leader.


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On the Edge is an engaging leadership manual that provides concrete insights garnered from various extreme environments ranging from Mt Everest to the South Pole. By reflecting on the lessons learned from her various expeditions, author Alison Levine makes the case that the leadership principles that apply in extreme adventure sport also apply in today's extreme business e On the Edge is an engaging leadership manual that provides concrete insights garnered from various extreme environments ranging from Mt Everest to the South Pole. By reflecting on the lessons learned from her various expeditions, author Alison Levine makes the case that the leadership principles that apply in extreme adventure sport also apply in today's extreme business environments. Both settings require you to be able to make crucial decisions on the spot when the conditions around you are far from perfect. Your survival—and the survival of your team—depend on it. On the Edge provides a framework to help people scale whatever big peaks they aspire to climb-be they literal or figurative-by offering practical, humorous, and often unorthodox advice about how to grow as a leader.

30 review for On the Edge: The Art of High-Impact Leadership

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sean Jenan

    I heard Alison interviewed on the Hugh Hewitt show and bought the book during the commercial break, taking the chance that Ms. Levine's writing would be as engaging as she was a speaker. If only all writers could be as deft and enthusiastic at promoting their projects! I'm in the middle of revising a novel that heavily features mountaineering & Antarctica, so my interest is immediately piqued by all things frozen. My hope for her book was that I'd get lots of first person details of such adventu I heard Alison interviewed on the Hugh Hewitt show and bought the book during the commercial break, taking the chance that Ms. Levine's writing would be as engaging as she was a speaker. If only all writers could be as deft and enthusiastic at promoting their projects! I'm in the middle of revising a novel that heavily features mountaineering & Antarctica, so my interest is immediately piqued by all things frozen. My hope for her book was that I'd get lots of first person details of such adventures, and I wasn't at all disappointed. The leadership lessons were unexpectedly thought-provoking, and although I wouldn't describe this book as a nuts-and-bolts guide for leadership by the numbers, the fascinating and often counter-intuitive insights Levine offers on the nature of teamwork and motivation are well worth discovering. To some extent, the truest estimation of any book comes down to a binary function: did it stay with me, is it still alive inside the crevices in my head after I file it on the shelf? For On the Edge, I've caught myself in the weeks since I read the book pondering little details that particularly caught my imagination: the ever-shifting icefall on Everest, her vulnerability at being the weakest team member on a walking trek(!) to the South Pole, the handle of her ice tool engraved with the name of a deceased friend. Her stories crept inside me; I can't imagine a better recommendation.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sayalee

    It's a 3.5 for me.. It's a 3.5 for me..

  3. 4 out of 5

    Paul Pessolano

    “On The Edge” by Alison Levine, published by. Grand Central Publishing Category – Business/Leadership Publication Date – January 07, 2014 This book may well be geared towards the business world, but my take on it is that it is a A book that can be useful to anyone. If I owned a company it would definitely be on the desk of all my employees. It is a book with a message for not only the CEO, but the employee that has put in thirty years, as well as the just hired employee of thirty minutes ago. A bo “On The Edge” by Alison Levine, published by. Grand Central Publishing Category – Business/Leadership Publication Date – January 07, 2014 This book may well be geared towards the business world, but my take on it is that it is a A book that can be useful to anyone. If I owned a company it would definitely be on the desk of all my employees. It is a book with a message for not only the CEO, but the employee that has put in thirty years, as well as the just hired employee of thirty minutes ago. A book that will help the athlete as well as the retiree. Alison Levine makes the book readable, informative, and interesting by combining her climbing Mount Everest with some very sage advice on improving your life. The leadership principles that she expounds are rooted in doing things differently and sometimes contrary to what one would believe correct procedure. For example: Look for teammates with big egos When you’re making progress, turn around and change direction Practice sleep deprivation Don’t try to overcome weakness Success can be a problem One may not consider these roads to success but Alison puts it all into perspective and gives credence to their implementation. Her credentials are outstanding in that she completed the Adventure Grand Slam, climbing the Seven Summits (highest peak on each continent) and skiing to both the North and South Poles. She was on the faculty for three years at West Point and serves on the Coach K’s board at Duke University. A highly recommended read for anyone who is trying to improve themselves not only as a leader but a productive member of society.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Noelle Rolle

    I heard her speak at a medical conference and she was excellent. The next day I ordered her book and after reading it, I'm glad I did. Great book with strong, uplifting stories about leadership. Not afraid to share authentic, unique points of view and very funny and engaging. Love how she draws from her experiences with the expeditions and ties them in to various teaching points. I made alot of notes and I'm sure I'll be referring to this book for years to come. I heard her speak at a medical conference and she was excellent. The next day I ordered her book and after reading it, I'm glad I did. Great book with strong, uplifting stories about leadership. Not afraid to share authentic, unique points of view and very funny and engaging. Love how she draws from her experiences with the expeditions and ties them in to various teaching points. I made alot of notes and I'm sure I'll be referring to this book for years to come.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Eddie S.

    I have no admiration for rock climbing. if you do, this book is for you. she equates business anecdotes with rock climbing. she teaches you the skills necessary to overcome obstacles.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Stahl

    Not too many leadership books revolve around skills that will help you survive in the most hostile environments on earth. And that’s just what Alison Levine brings us in her except memoir and leadership biopic on how she’s braved the highest peaks in the world. Levine knows that when you’re thousands of feet high, every member on the team is vital, not just the leader. Every person in the group needs to work and train to be a leader and take on leadership roles. Furthermore, a team is only a te Not too many leadership books revolve around skills that will help you survive in the most hostile environments on earth. And that’s just what Alison Levine brings us in her except memoir and leadership biopic on how she’s braved the highest peaks in the world. Levine knows that when you’re thousands of feet high, every member on the team is vital, not just the leader. Every person in the group needs to work and train to be a leader and take on leadership roles. Furthermore, a team is only a team when “every member of the group cares as much about helping the other members as they care about helping themselves.” Some of the other key points gleaned from Levine’s experiences on the highest mountains and levels of business: - Complacency kills you - As a leader, it’s important to stay engaged and to pay attention to the people around you, observing their behavior and taking action to keep them safe - Have a team with an ego — you need people who can look at insurmountable odds and not only have the skills to achieve success but also have the belief that they will come out on top - Trust your team for maximum results - “Leader” is a mindset - The more dedicated you are to your team, the harder they will work for you and one another - Leaders who simply follow the rules never become skilled at how to handle situations that take them off course from their plans

  7. 4 out of 5

    Ingrid

    What a perfect book to be my first read of the New Year! I found the book so challenging and encouraging. Alison Levine writes about her journey to the top of Everest and making good comparisons in how you can apply those techniques to business and leadership. I find myself now, as I'm finishing off my New Year's goal list, wanting to actually do something challenging (like climb a mountain!). My favourite part was when she wrote about the importance of failure. How true. Very inspirational. Gre What a perfect book to be my first read of the New Year! I found the book so challenging and encouraging. Alison Levine writes about her journey to the top of Everest and making good comparisons in how you can apply those techniques to business and leadership. I find myself now, as I'm finishing off my New Year's goal list, wanting to actually do something challenging (like climb a mountain!). My favourite part was when she wrote about the importance of failure. How true. Very inspirational. Great read!

  8. 4 out of 5

    KJ Coop

    Alison was the keynote at the 2017 Solheim Cup Women's Leadership Summit in West Des Moines, IA. I heard her speak at that event and found myself leaning forward, fascinated by her climb on Everest. I couldn't wait for more details. I picked up the book within the hour. I was looking for more details about her climbs, but have found myself really paying attention to her leadership tips. I enjoyed the adventure stories and learned from the leadership tips. It's an easy read. Alison writes convers Alison was the keynote at the 2017 Solheim Cup Women's Leadership Summit in West Des Moines, IA. I heard her speak at that event and found myself leaning forward, fascinated by her climb on Everest. I couldn't wait for more details. I picked up the book within the hour. I was looking for more details about her climbs, but have found myself really paying attention to her leadership tips. I enjoyed the adventure stories and learned from the leadership tips. It's an easy read. Alison writes conversationally and has a great sense of humor.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Billy Hart

    Ms. Levine earned many unique experiences and compares them to our own leadership capabilities. Although she has not attained the long range role of a Leader in a large organization, she certainly can relate to it with her many stories, anecdotes, and references to climbing, hiking and skiing. As a reader we learn so much of her climbs (2) to Mt. Everest and 6 other highest peaks and compare those events to leadership and teamwork throughout. Of interest also is her sense of humor. She made me l Ms. Levine earned many unique experiences and compares them to our own leadership capabilities. Although she has not attained the long range role of a Leader in a large organization, she certainly can relate to it with her many stories, anecdotes, and references to climbing, hiking and skiing. As a reader we learn so much of her climbs (2) to Mt. Everest and 6 other highest peaks and compare those events to leadership and teamwork throughout. Of interest also is her sense of humor. She made me laugh in her comparisons, made fun of herself and kept my interest. Yes, a Good Read Indeed.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Lynda Pires

    I have no doubt that the author is an incredible speaker and motivational leader. However, the book was not particularly well-written and it was repetitive. In fairness, it would probably be a four-star compared to most leadership books on the market and she set out to do what she said she was going to do which was to impart leadership lessons based on her climbing experience. But a lot of it, frankly underscored the real problems that we face in corporate America. I think I would have preferred I have no doubt that the author is an incredible speaker and motivational leader. However, the book was not particularly well-written and it was repetitive. In fairness, it would probably be a four-star compared to most leadership books on the market and she set out to do what she said she was going to do which was to impart leadership lessons based on her climbing experience. But a lot of it, frankly underscored the real problems that we face in corporate America. I think I would have preferred an account of her experiences without the weak ties to corporate examples.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Katrin V

    This book was highly recommended to me. I think Levine's points are very worthwhile and it probably isn't her fault that virtually all leadership lectures now use mountain climbing analogies so that her stories aren't as impactful as they might have been 10 years ago. I think you could get a lot of the value of this book by just reading the final paragraph of each chapter which sums up the lesson learned. This book was highly recommended to me. I think Levine's points are very worthwhile and it probably isn't her fault that virtually all leadership lectures now use mountain climbing analogies so that her stories aren't as impactful as they might have been 10 years ago. I think you could get a lot of the value of this book by just reading the final paragraph of each chapter which sums up the lesson learned.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Hafey

    Inspiring bed time stories ...that make you want to go outside and experience life! Alison Levine does a phenomenal job at tying in leadership lesson that are not by any means your common guest speaker leadership lessons. Witty, intelligent, people smart, unrelenting in so many ways, this lady has won at life. Recommended for anyone who loves short stories and is fascinated with challenges.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Breann

    Alison Levine spoke at a conference I attended and I was blown away by her engaging speaking style and ability to take lessons from her experience as a world-class mountaineer and apply them to business. Unfortunately the book did not measure up to hearing her speak. Perhaps the audio version would have captured her energy? The best part of this for me was learning more about her Everest climbs, the leadership messages didn't quite connect for me in writing. Alison Levine spoke at a conference I attended and I was blown away by her engaging speaking style and ability to take lessons from her experience as a world-class mountaineer and apply them to business. Unfortunately the book did not measure up to hearing her speak. Perhaps the audio version would have captured her energy? The best part of this for me was learning more about her Everest climbs, the leadership messages didn't quite connect for me in writing.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    If half stars were an option I'd rate this 3.5/5 but I rounded up. I like Alison's philosophy on leadership and think more business people can benefit from reading this book. I also learned a whole lot about Everest, what it takes to climb it, and mountaineering in general. This is a good read even if you have no experience in (or desire to) climb mountains. If half stars were an option I'd rate this 3.5/5 but I rounded up. I like Alison's philosophy on leadership and think more business people can benefit from reading this book. I also learned a whole lot about Everest, what it takes to climb it, and mountaineering in general. This is a good read even if you have no experience in (or desire to) climb mountains.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Eric

    Absolutely fantastic book for both its leadership takeaways AND its high adventure stories. Alison is both a great speaker and writer, and her stories (Everest, South Pole, Carstensz, etc) are gripping. I just wish I could’ve heard MORE of her stories - Alison has reached the highest peaks on all 7 continents, I think at least a sequel is in order!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jessica N.

    We had an opportunity to listen to Levine at our world conference for work. Her Ted Talk and discussions are enlightening. However, her book is very wordy. Her points and journal are insightful, but it's buried underneath repetitive, and sometimes boring, dialogue. I recommend reading the last couple of paragraphs of each chapter and her summary box. We had an opportunity to listen to Levine at our world conference for work. Her Ted Talk and discussions are enlightening. However, her book is very wordy. Her points and journal are insightful, but it's buried underneath repetitive, and sometimes boring, dialogue. I recommend reading the last couple of paragraphs of each chapter and her summary box.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Patty

    Alison has not only climbed Mt. Everest but all 7 Summits and been to both the North and South Pole. Truly amazing stories about all that she's accomplished and I enjoyed reading about that. I enjoyed her humor too, it kept the reading very light. I think she makes a lot of good points about leadership but I read the book more to hear about her adventures because that's what kept me interested. Alison has not only climbed Mt. Everest but all 7 Summits and been to both the North and South Pole. Truly amazing stories about all that she's accomplished and I enjoyed reading about that. I enjoyed her humor too, it kept the reading very light. I think she makes a lot of good points about leadership but I read the book more to hear about her adventures because that's what kept me interested.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Laura Otting

    Alison takes the lessons that she’s learned, from climbing Mt. Everest twice as well as skiing on the North and South Pole and hiking almost every major mountain in this planet, and applies them to her book. Alison is amazing and On the Edge is a fantastic book where you can learn leadership lessons from someone who has walked the walk and talked the talk.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Gina

    No other leadership book could get me to read it on a Sunday morning. Great, practical lessons and advice from Alison, and they will stick because of the fantastic anecdotes. My pulse was racing for most of this book! And Alison is a great writer to boot. She seems funny, humble, and gracious. I’d love to hear her speak in person.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Liz Cloos

    Overall, this book was entertaining and informative. Although I would the writing style more casual than I like, Alison has many lessons to share on leadership. For the amount of time, I would recommend her TED talk over the book. Both are good, but the TED talk will allow you to learn the key lessons faster.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Beth Katz

    This was a fabulous book. I did the audio version. Alison lead us through her travels and taught us about leadership every step of the way. I actually loved this book. I agree it is all about the journey and pushing yourself to the next level, surrounding yourself with great leaders and creating amazing teams.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Annie Slater

    Alison was keynote speaker at a conference for my work and she was amazing! I immediately went and bought this book after that. I was not disappointed at all! Her personality shines through the pages. I was captivated the whole time reading about her experiences. She shares so much wonderful insight and advice when it comes to being a leader.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ahmed Ismail

    This is a quick and very intersting read. Alison climbed mount Everest twice. The book is about how to boost ur leadership skills by applying what she has learned​ from her adventure. All the lessons are applicable in all aspects of life. Give it a go.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Steve

    Extremely anecdotal. Has very little to do with leadership in extreme environments. The author relies on truisms, personal stories, and dumb punchlines and then at the last minute throws in "and THAT'S what leadership is all about..." Extremely anecdotal. Has very little to do with leadership in extreme environments. The author relies on truisms, personal stories, and dumb punchlines and then at the last minute throws in "and THAT'S what leadership is all about..."

  25. 5 out of 5

    Krista Park

    Refreshing leadership book that is very non PC in a useful way.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Nila Parmerlee

    Easy read. Interesting and inspiring.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Arianna Rose

    Easy read, interesting dynamics.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Abby C. Fitzsimmons

    Great Read Very inspirational book. I think this is one I'll keep on the shelf to read again. The lessons learned here are invaluable and a must read. Great Read Very inspirational book. I think this is one I'll keep on the shelf to read again. The lessons learned here are invaluable and a must read.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lela

    Great descriptions and details of her "climbs". Leadership tips are very good, too. Great descriptions and details of her "climbs". Leadership tips are very good, too.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Allison Miller

    More about climbing than lessons on leadership.

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