Jeff Salz–anthropologist, explorer, keynote speaker, and expedition leader—advocates adventure as a mode of leadership. In this interview, he describes how “Adventure isn’t just defined by the activity—it’s really a state of mind and a state of perspective,” and suggests that leaders can learn a lot from approaching things from the perspective of an adventurer. This can be helpful to understanding leadership itself; Salz says that in today’s swiftly-changing business scene, “You have to have the skills of a leader that once belonged to the expeditionary.”
Here, he discusses what leaders can learn from adventure, and where anyone can find it, as well as:
- The leadership skills that any expedition-leading adventurer—or any leader—should have, including the ability to stay cool under pressure and have an intuitive grasp of a situation
- How to deal with uncertainty while leading a team
- Maintaining a sense of “purposeful certainty” about outcomes
- How to help a whole team share a sense of urgency and responsibility for outcomes
- How approaching business as an adventure can generate a sense of creativity, excitement, and openness to change
Jeff holds a Bachelor’s in Outdoor Education, a Master’s in Experiential Education, and a Ph.D. in Cultural Education. He is involved in adventure-base education, speaking, coaching and training, and has worked with executives at companies including Microsoft, Google, eBay, Motorola and the Walt Disney Company. He is also a founding contributor to Escape magazine.