Have you ever thought about working in Antarctica? In this Expert Insight Interview, Rachel Robertson discusses leadership insights from Antarctica. Rachel Robertson is an international keynote speaker, author, leadership expert, and a former expedition leader in Antarctica.
This Expert Insight Interview discusses:
- Managing people, not science
- Embracing different views and perspectives
- Being authentic in your leadership style
People over Science
Being stuck with a group of very different personalities from a tradesman to a brainy engineer for a year in a close circle such as Antarctica, plus having to manage them, can be very intimidating. However, the thing to remember in a situation like that is that skills do not require management, but people who perform those skills do. The biggest challenge is to handle the cognitive diversity. Not everyone has to agree with or like each other, but we all have to respect each other.
Embrace the Differences
When we find ourselves in a difficult situation, the best way to manage that situation is to break it down. For example, making short-term plans which do not exceed three months is preferable. Another thing is to celebrate the little victories we win along the way because those victories help us to create a sense of progress and build morale in the team. Good leaders also know how to set boundaries. Many people think that they have poor time management when instead, they haven’t set up the proper work boundaries. “No triangles” rule means that people go to the person they have a difference of opinions with instead of going to the team leader to tell on that person. This rule brings the responsibility back to the team, and it encourages creative conflict leading to innovation and progress. Also, the “no triangles” rule releases the leader from the unnecessary but stressful workload.
Bring the Authenticity
Moreover, good leaders know that people will not always remember what you did or said, but they will remember how you made them feel. Thus, bringing the human element and authenticity into your leadership is of utmost importance. Not everyone has the same career aspirations. Somebody has big career dreams while some people work only to provide income for their families, but all those people deserve the same respect and treatment. In conclusion, being a leader in extreme conditions places as in Antarctica is a great way to test yourself how much do you want a leadership position. Because like everything in life, it comes with its benefits as well as with its sacrifices.
John is the Amazon bestselling author of Winning the Battle for Sales: Lessons on Closing Every Deal from the World’s Greatest Military Victories and Social Upheaval: How to Win at Social Selling. A globally acknowledged Sales & Marketing thought leader, speaker, and strategist. He is CSMO at Pipeliner CRM. In his spare time, John is an avid Martial Artist.