The Heroic Hearts spirit speaks of Teamwork, Leadership, Solidarity, Synergy, Movement and the Dynamism of the Human Spirit.
After four deaths on his first expedition to Everest, Jim was determined to return to the mountain with a radically new approach – a value alignment that would knit together a committed group of individuals into a resilient, creative team that could respond dynamically to the constantly changing conditions of the extreme environment of Everest. A team of heroes, in fact.
The heroism Jim speaks of is not particularly his own; it is the authentic heroism of each of the members of his team who not only mastered their roles but continually found new ways to help fulfill their expedition’s vision, pushing beyond their perceived limits, even when they knew they themselves had no chance of standing on the summit.
This is a deeply engaging story of teamwork and unparalleled success, presenting a style of leadership that does not grab for the spotlight, but effectively draws almost superhuman performance from the entire team.
The title of this presentation is drawn from the famous closing lines of Tennyson’s poem, Ulysses:
“. . . that which we are, we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts, Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”
Drawing out a code of values and behaviors that remind everyone of what it takes for ordinary people to achieve extraordinary results, the lessons of Everest easily translate to the world of business, revealing what it takes to be a great leader and an engaged team member.
Seven essential leadership and team principals are explored through the Everest lens:
- Vision: never lose sight of the summit; focus energy on short-term milestones;
- Creativity and Flexibility: leaders must define goals then redefine them when the situation calls for it;
- Point of No Return: to achieve the extraordinary you will have to go beyond your point of no return;
- Principle Leadership Competency: enlistment through common ground;
- Accountability: everyone shares responsibility for the team’s success;
- Value Teaming: values and vision are equal partners; values are more sustaining under pressure;
- Teamwork: keep people informed, engaged, and thinking about solutions.