Exploring Business Leadership with Robert Swan
SPEAKING.COM: What was it like completing the extraordinary feat of reaching both the north and south poles on foot?
SWAN: It was an hounour and I certainly didn’t feel that we had overcome the Poles… by reaching [the Poles] they let us through and it was a ‘WE’ celebration, not a ‘ME’ celebration.
SPEAKING.COM: Could you describe some of the most valuable leadership lessons you have learned on your expeditions?
SWAN: The key to leadership is to think carefully before you make a commitment, and once you do make a commitment, deliver on it.
SPEAKING.COM: How can companies apply what you learned on your expeditions to create success?
SWAN: Companies are a sum of their people, and leaders should inspire their people.
SPEAKING.COM: When you wanted to give up in the face of extreme conditions, what kept you motivated to go on?
SWAN: As a leader it would hardly be fitting if I didn’t want to go on; however, survival is about the simple things. I knew that if I kept going, at the end of the day we could rest and have something to eat. Also, remembering the people that were supporting our efforts was a great motivating factor. And, I was inspired by the explorers that came before me: Shackleton, Scott and Amundsen.
SPEAKING.COM: Tell us about the ten-year global and local environmental mission you undertook after you returned from your expeditions.
SWAN: The main objective for the movement was to think locally and act globally. I wanted to focus on youth empowerment and engagement across the world.
SPEAKING.COM: How does your company, 2041, improve teamwork and leadership through its Antarctic mission?
SWAN: The mission of 2041 is to build personal leadership skills among people who choose to embrace the challenge of sustaining all forms of life – in their families, communities, organizations and the planet. In simple terms, our goal is to help attendees improve their teamwork, leadership, public speaking, etc. in order to give them the confidence to make their dreams, passion, and career goals a reality.
SPEAKING.COM: What is the Antarctic education station “The E-Base?”
SWAN: In order to preserve Antarctica, we need to have more renewable energy sources working throughout the world. Our E-bases run only on renewable energy and demonstrate that renewable energy practices are possible.
SPEAKING.COM: Why did you launch a 50-year mission of creating operational business strategies to help sustain human life on the planet?
SWAN: I became part of the 50-year mission because in the year 2041 the Antarctic Treaty can be modified, wherein Earth’s last great wilderness can be changed forever.
SPEAKING.COM: Why are flexibility and milestones important?
SWAN: You need achievable, deliverable and inspirational steps along the way.
To bring Robert Swan to inspire leadership in your organization, please contact Michael Frick at: Mike@Speaking.com.
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