Polar Leader: Race to the South Pole


“Who are you as a leader? What deeply held values underlie your approach to leadership? How can your leadership draw the most from your team?”


PolarLeader is the story of a race through a hostile landscape between two starkly contrasting leadership cultures. Roald Amundsen and Captain Robert Falcon Scott could hardly be more different – they each have strengths and weaknesses, they each make errors, in Scott’s case fatal ones, they each have their own measure of success. Their stories vividly highlight two very different approaches to leadership and the profound impact the leader can have on the people involved and the outcome of their endeavors. As the story unfolds in powerful multimedia sequences, PolarLeader invites participants to explore their own challenges as leaders and witness the effect their leadership choices have on those around them. Through this process they will gain new insights and confidence as they successfully encounter challenges that have thwarted even great leaders such as Captain Scott and Captain Amundsen.


Choices and Challenges for Leaders


Along the way, PolarLeader participants are faced with a number of vital choice points, selected and customized in consultation with you for your particular Polar Journey:


Choice Point One – Nansen’s Drift: Self-leadership. Who am I? What is my vision? What is my story? What is stopping me from taking the necessary risks to be truly innovative? How do I show up as a leader in this context? What is motivating the choices I make?


Choice Point Two – Mentors & Muses: Who are the people I trust? What inspires me to go outside the norms into the unknown? Who are my guides and sources of inspiration? What do I need to let go of to move forward?


Choice Point Three – Team: Amundsen and Scott select their teams. What roles must be filled on my team? Who will fill them? How can I know they will fit the job and the team? Where does leadership come from in my organization?


Choice Point Four - Volte Face: While preparing to depart for the North Pole, Peary and Cook return; the great Northern objective has been taken by others. It no longer has any significant meaning for you. Do you continue with your promised objective or do you change your plans? How do you recover your source of inspiration and determination?


Choice Point Five – Deception or Lie: What does it really mean to have integrity? Do you let everyone know that your plan to go North has changed and that you are now planning to go South – knowing that your backers will consider this a betrayal of your commitment to them? How can you do this and also stay true to your vision? This decision is gives us a chance to grapple with ethics and principles and some of the difficult choices they present.


Choice Point Six - Integrated Courage: Scott & Amundsen in Action - Here we may do a personal assessment of the varieties of courage and lack of courageous action. We look at cause and effect. As a framework for this decision we explore the Four Directions of Courage model . Here we seek to raise awareness of the many faces of courage and how we can apply them to become bolder and more effective in our work and personal lives.


Choice Point Seven: Conflict between Amundsen and Johansen – Johansen did not know how to speak to power. How do we speak to those over us? How do we do so in such a way that meets our own needs and those of the enterprise as a whole?


Final Decision - How Good It Is To Be Alive: This as an opportunity to revisit our vision and revalue our story. The story can legitimize the struggle and inspire us towards further meaningful achievement. How can we each bring the meaning of our story into our working lives?


Like TeamEverest, PolarLeader is a computer-based, facilitator-led program, highly interactive and participatory, created using our unique presentation development platform, TownHallBuilder.