Sunday, 4 September 2016

One woman's career journey to Antarctica

Leading on the Edge, written in 2013  is the work of Rachael Robertson, a Australian, who, after graduating from university and getting her first job in PR realized that she didn’t really like PR at all, but in her words, “Very few decisions in life are irreversible, so make some!”

Rachael’s career progressed and in 2005, she was seconded to the Australian Antarctic Division from her job as a senior manager at Parks Victor to become the leader of the 58th Australian National Antarctic Research Expedition to Davis Station. She is only the second female to ever lead a team at the station.  Since returning to Australia from the 12 month expedition, Rachael has completed her MBA and is now working in the field of leadership management.  
In this book, Rachael shares the lessons she learned as leader in the wilds of Antarctica. Leading eighteen strangers around the clock for a full year—through months of darkness and with no escape from the frigid cold, howling winds, and each other, she learned powerful lessons about what real, authentic leadership is. Here, she offers a deeply honest and humorous account of what it takes to survive and lead in the harshest environment on Earth. What emerges from her graphic account of what it is like to take charge when you have no place to hide is a series of powerful and practical lessons for business leaders and managers everywhere.
There is a myriad of lessons that the reader can take away from this book. A few examples:

  • ·         Positive change comes from the ground up.
  • ·         Empathy goes a long way.
  • ·         Leadership is a lifelong journey. There is always room to grow.  

This book is written in a conversational style that gives the reader the choice to either take it as a story or use it as a management primer. There are excerpts from her diary that provide added insight but at times create repetition. 

So what can I use from this book that will help ease my way over the difficult times ahead? I am continually amazed by the generosity of others to help, however, It is my responsibility to make my own way. Small changes everyday to make life easier make room to enjoy the ordinary and the ordinary is what life is all about. I want to be ordinary and not treated as special, but I know that there are people waiting to help. I only have to ask.  

It is well worth reading and not an arduous task. Give it a go.

Book cover photo with thanks from 
The Book Depository

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