On the Edge: A Unique Look at Leadership

AlisonAs appearing in LINKEDIN.

While I may have only just published my top books of 2013 last week, 2014 is well underway, which means a slew of new books will be coming your way! Today marks the publication date of the first book of 2014 that I’m excited to read, and I hope everyone will pick up a copy of On The Edge: The Art of High Impact Leadership by Alison Levine.

I first came to know Alison through 85 Broads, originally a group for current and former female employees of Goldman Sachs, but which has now expanded into a global women’s network with over 30,000 members, and I have kept in touch all of these years because she is an extraordinary person. Alison has previously worked at Goldman Sachs, but it is her experience in another area altogether that has given her a unique outlook on what it takes to have effective leadership skills in life and in business.

Alison is a member of a very exclusive group, as she is one of only about 40 people in the world who have completed the Adventure Grand Slam. This means that she has scaled the highest peak on every continent in the world and skied to both the North and South Poles. In addition, Alison was the first American to ski from west Antarctica to the South Pole, and acted as the team captain for the first American Women’s Everest Expedition. All of these achievements are made even more incredible when you learn that Alison suffers from Raynaud’s Disease, a circulatory condition that makes her extremely susceptible to frostbite. Kind of makes the cutthroat world of Wall Street ( which I am from) sound like child’s play.

As you can imagine, Alison’s experiences in some of the most harsh and extreme environments in the world have given her a unique outlook on life and leadership, because when the penalty for big mistakes is death, you tend to see things a bit differently. On The Edge outlines many unorthodox and outside the box theories of leadership, one of which is the idea that businesses need to start rewarding the risk takers more than those who have pristine track records, because while risks often go hand in hand with failure, it’s those willing to take those risks that you want on your side. Alison also talks about how to build cohesive teams, and interestingly enough, argues that sometimes it’s okay to let people have big egos.

On The Edge has already gotten great reviews from Publisher’s Weekly Starred Review, Success Magazine, and The Wall Street Journal, while Amazon has named it one the of the “Best Books of the Month” in the Business/Leadership Category.  Life is about fulfilling our leadership potential and I thank Alison for helping to show us the way.

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