Thursday, 5 March 2015
I have been lucky enough to do a few adventure trips over the years, trekking through the Kali Gandaki gorge in Nepal, climbing to the top of Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, scaling the Middle Sister in Sydney’s Blue Mountains and completing 2,400kms walking across France and Spain on the Camino de Santiago. I was fortunate enough to play a support role in the Shackleton Epic expedition in Antarctica in 2013, led by my former colleague Tim Jarvis AM.
I have also been involved as an investor and CEO in creating, growing, selling and merging several businesses in diverse sectors from digital media to environmental sustainability, concrete reinforcement, creative agency, management consulting and IT services.
Now I am collaborating with Justin Jones, aka Jonesy, a professional adventurer who has completed several amazingly challenging expeditions with his mate Cas. In 2012 he completed the longest unsupported polar expedition of all time, walking from the edge of Antarctica to the South Pole and back over 89 gruelling days and 2275km in the harshest environment on Earth. Four years earlier he and Cas paddled 3318km without assistance across the Tasman Sea for another world first.
On top of that he’s been lucky enough to create two documentaries that have been featured on networks in almost every country on the globe and have won 16 International Film Festival awards. Apart from planning his next expedition he is currently in high demand on the speaking circuit linking the lessons learnt from 15 years of expeditions to business across the world.
We are working together to combine our experiences from the engine room to the boardroom of business and the frontline of extreme expeditions. We’ve come up with nine ‘Golden Rules’ for Entrepreneurs and Expeditioners that apply equally well in the adventure of business – and the business of adventure.
It might seem strange that our lessons learned should be so closely aligned. But let’s take a look at the context of both roles.
Believe it or not, the process of building a successful start-up looks and feels a lot like planning and executing a (typically) crazy expedition. Whether you are launching an expedition idea that seems to defy the limits of human endurance, or building a new business that challenges existing market orthodoxy, you need to achieve a small miracle: creating something from nothing. In the face of limited funding, fierce competition, scarce resources, daunting challenges, noisy naysayers and an uncertain, harsh environment, success is only ever hard won at considerable personal cost and risk.
Based on our shared experience, Jonesy and I offer these Golden Rules to both Entrepreneurs and Expeditioners alike:
Jonesy and I have enjoyed the process of sharing our experiences in the worlds of business and adventure. We’ve recognised we can both learn a lot from each context, and that many of the tools and tactics we have gathered can be potent assets in both.
In this video you will get a taste of some of the ground we will cover in our Master Class at Creative Innovation 2015 – Business Growth: A leadership journey.
It illustrates the harsh and unforgiving environments that we need to navigate as leaders in expeditions and business. You’ll see some of the pain and difficulty Justin endured whilst putting his life on the line during his world-first Antarctic and Trans-Tasman expeditions. You’ll re-live the personal and financial carnage that Steve has seen first-hand through Black Monday in London in 1987, the dotcom crash of 2001 and of course the Global Financial Crisis of 2008, through which he helped steer companies to success in the face of business-threatening times. By linking lessons from the business world, approached with an expedition mindset, where every move could literally be your last, Steve and Justin will share their insights into how to deal with uncertainty.
In these tough spots, what do you do when you don’t know what to do, and the team is looking at you for answers?
In our session at Ci2015 on the 23rd of March, we’ll work through case studies from both of Jonesy’s big expeditions and Steve’s 20 years of consulting. Beyond the Golden Rules, we’ll analyse the 7 stages of a company’s growth cycle, an expedition and what the leader’s role is at each of the stages.
When you walk out, you’ll have a better understanding of which stages you will be highly suited to as a leader and where you’ll need to rely on a strong, supportive leadership team. With imagery and anecdotes taken from the frontline of two of the biggest expeditions undertaken this century; it’ll be a day that’ll provoke thought into what makes good leaders tick.
Grab your tickets (just $250) here: Ci2015 registration
23-25 MARCH 2015, SOFITEL MELBOURNE ON COLLINS, AUSTRALIA
Ci2015 will feature over 40 global leaders, innovators and thinkers and deliver world-class creative ideas and pragmatic solutions. It will offer credible forecasts, strategies and practices to help transform you and the leadership of organisations. Join big and small business, educators, entrepreneurs, creative and government leaders, emerging talent and leading thinkers from around the World.
Steve Lennon is a strategy, business transformation, and culture management expert. As client and consultant, banker and borrower, CEO and corporate coach he has built, bought and sold several businesses, and buried one or two as well. Steve is a Consulting Principal with Fujitsu and the author of “It’s A Dog’s Job”, a cheeky, mad-dog look at the world of management consulting. Fujitsu is Japan’s leading global IT services firm, focused on human-centric innovation.
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