Roald Amundsen was the world’s greatest polar explorer: he was conqueror of the South Pole, the Northwest Passage and the North Pole, and a survivor where others perished or failed. He was also arguably the world’s greatest project manager.
Amundsen thrived on danger and adversity. It was then that he became a calm, determined, and imaginative PM. He was the type of man who became fully engaged when faced with seemingly insurmountable obstacles or problems. He also paid particular attention to his team, interviewing dozens before choosing men who were quietly competent and specialists at their tasks; men who didn’t need constant direction and who could be trusted with their responsibilities. Of course he was also a magnificent organizer, and it was these two traits—the imaginative leader and the meticulous planner—which enabled his success and his survival on multiple expeditions, each of which presented their own unique obstacles, challenges and goals.
He treated his expeditions like military operations, sometimes spending years preparing before his departure. He counted the meals down to the day, measured travel times under various conditions, and applied his calculations as stringently as possible, allowing great margins for error. He had an incredible imagination for anticipating the problems and challenges that could arise and he developed solutions for them in advance. He never ran short of food or supplies and never lost a ship. When he completed his epic trek to the South Pole he arrived back on the coast within days of his calculated time for the trip.
Join Stephen Bown, author of best selling books such as “The Last Viking” and “Scurvy”, as he explores Extreme PM.
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Join us on 13 February 2014:
- 10 AM MDT/12 PM EDT – Click here to register