Adventure in Life & Work

Polar exploration and business are both adventures. I truly believe that adventure has enormous relevance in both our personal and working lives, perhaps more so now than ever before. We live in a climate that is in the main risk averse, constantly seeking to mitigate and reduce uncertainty. Unfortunately, we face uncertainty and risk every day, however what is essential is how we approach that risk and uncertainty. It is our approach that will have the greatest impact on the outcome.

Adventure provides the vehicle on which to extend our capability and capacity. Adventurers have for many decades faced the extreme of uncertainty and risk, where errors in judgement can be paid for with the ultimate price. In today's competitive and dynamic business environment adopting an adventurers approach we can provide dynamic results in risk taking and pushing back the frontiers of known endurance, self-confidence, resilience and initiative.

What is adventure?

My definition of adventure is a journey in work or life that involves people, risk and excitement in pursuit of a positive outcome. By understanding the value, and interaction, of the four key elements of adventure - Risk, Outcome, People and Excitement - we can truly unleash our full potential and achieve our full potential.

What are the essential values an adventurer?

Cultivate an appetite for risk
Maintain a positive viewpoint
Value individual differences
Seize opportunities

What makes a successful adventurer?

I believe that to be successful in adventure, and by that read work and life, you must first understand your desired outcome, if you don't know where your journey is going how can you put in place the resources your need to reach it. You must respect fellow adventurers, and value individual perspectives - through diversity comes real strength.

Risk is ever present and a good adventurer continually seeks knowledge to develop his situational awareness in order to reduce uncertainty and risk. And last but not least, a successful adventure learns regardless of the outcome and always enjoys the experience.

Adopt the Explorers Attitude : Think-See-Be

I have integrated my experiences, leadership and team development skills into my adventure-leader philosophy which I teach on my development courses. A philosophy that promotes a shift in attitudes to adopt those of an adventurer. It is about Thinking, Seeing and then Becoming the adventurer. By exploring your ability to experience more you will unlock true potential.

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Part 2 : 9 strategies on the ice

Part 2 of Sean's feature on the world's foremost explorers website ExplorersWeb where he shares his insights into teamwork and success.

Reaching the South Pole or North Pole is not about egos but takes a team effort, says Sean Chapple. He shares nine strategies with ExplorersWeb for when the team is skiing, sledge-hauling, kiting, making their way across the ice to the Pole; strategies from milestones, leadership, complacency, setbacks, decision making, to off days and fun days. MilestonesFor anyone the prospect of skiing over 700 miles in sub zero temperatures will be quite daunting. To avoid being overwhelmed by the immense challenge...

Read the complete article by Correne Coetzer at:


8 Tips on How to Lead a High Performance Team

What does it take to lead a high performance team? Here are my top 8 tips.

The outcome and the team

You are the executive authority

Assimilating feedback; disseminating information

Allow the led to do what they canand give them scope for excellence

Take responsibility, it will come from no one else

The underlying purpose

Development of team/individuals

Your teams will want you to take action

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It is important that teams agree how decisions will be reached and capture this within the team charter.

For a high performance team this will generally be a collaborative approach to the decision-making process. If everyone is involved in the discussion to reach a decision, when that decision is ultimately reached the commitment by all will be far greater.

The formal leader should keep the discussion focused on the issue and frequently summarise points of view and then articulate the final decision, seeking everyone’s agreement to pursue that course of action. Once agreed all team members should fully embrace and commit to its delivery.

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Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

Abraham Maslow developed the Hierarchy of Needs model in the 1950's and the theory retains its validity even today for understanding human motivation, management training and personal development. Maslow's ideas surrounding the theory concern the responsibility of employers to provide a workplace environment that encourages and enables employees to fulfil their own unique potential, or self-actualisation.

This is based on five needs:

1. Biological and Physiological - air, food, drink, shelter, warmth, sex, sleep.

2. Safety - protection from elements, security, order, law, limits, stability.

3. Belongingness and Love - work group, family, affection, relationships.

4. Esteem - self-esteem, achievement, mastery, independence, status, dominance, prestige, managerial responsibility.

5. Self-Actualisation - realising personal potential, self-fulfillment, seeking personal growth and peak experiences.


Qualities of a Leader

Many organisations articulate a list of qualities that they expect from their leaders. For example; The Royal Marines list Judgement, Bearing, Wisdom, Integrity and Courage. But for a leader to create and lead a peak performance team he should be able to think as both a leader and a team player. He should be an effective linker able to listen to the views of all team members, recognise individual strengths and know how to effectively utilise them for benefit of the team. Qualities and traits of leadership are external manifestations. True leadership is something that comes from within. It is a matter of behaviour and perception. It is a result of real experiences.