Purpose of the Leadership Trek
Leadership is a capacity that draws on all aspects of
yourself and your organization. Developing
a vision, articulating it, and inspiring others to achieve it require not
only careful analysis and technical knowledge but also a sense for what is
important for the organization and for the people in and around it.
Mastering these abilities is a lifelong endeavor, and the
Leadership Trek to Mt. Everest provides an opportunity to continue your
leadership development, exercise your body and cross-train your mind, and
reflect on your leadership with fellow graduates of the Wharton Executive
MBA program and others amongst the awe-inspiring peaks of the Himalayas.
Images of mountains resonate deeply in cultures
around the world; they are symbols of patience and strength, effort and
climbers, like the mountains they climb, hold a central place in modern
business and society, a paradigm for how individuals striving for a goal
can achieve what others label impossible.
Reaching a summit, however, is usually far more than a personal
achievement, for it almost always depends on collective effort, with the
contribution of each required for the success of all.
As the Japanese leader of a Mount Fuji society puts it, “The most
important thing in climbing is the inner strength to help each other, so
that not just the strongest but all the members of the group reach the
The seminar trek uses mountains, mountaineering, and
trekking as powerful cross-cultural metaphors to expand and deepen our
understanding of leadership and teamwork:
How have expeditions to Everest, Annapurna, K2 and other
Himalayan peaks built the leadership and teamwork required to reach the
summit – or to retreat safely when good judgment suggests they should?
How do non-Western ways of approaching mountains reveal
different possibilities of leading and working together as a team?
Can the mysterious hidden valleys of Tibetan lore, some
resembling the fictional Shangri-La of James Hilton’s novel, Lost
Horizon, help us understand the underlying purpose of leadership and
What does it mean to reach a summit?
What have we achieved? What
should be next?
fly to Kathmandu, capital of Nepal, and then to Lukla in the Mt. Everest
region. From there, we trek
by foot up legendary valleys toward Mt. Everest, visiting the Buddhist
monastery at Tengboche and reaching a lookout at Chukhung Ri, a peak of
18,238 feet beneath Lhotse, the world’s fourth highest mountain (after
Everest, K2, and Kangchenjunga). The
views from Chukhung Ri and points on the way are stunning.
is author, lecturer, scholar, mountaineer, and experienced trek
leader. Ed holds a doctoral
degree in Asian Studies from the University of California, Berkeley, where
he is a Research Associate. A
member of the World Conservation Union, he directs the Sacred Mountains
Program at The Mountain Institute with projects at Mount Rainier, Rocky
Mountain, and Great Smoky Mountains National Parks. He
is the author of The Way to
Shambhala: A Search for the Mythical Kingdom Beyond the Himalayas
(Shambhala Publications, 2001), a study of Tibetan myths and legends of hidden
valleys, and of the award-winning Sacred
Mountains of the World (University of California Press, 1998), which
was the basis for an exhibit of his photographs at the Smithsonian
Institution. A past instructor at the Colorado Outward Bound School and a
member of the American Alpine Club, Ed has done extensive research on the
role of mountain metaphors in leadership and has climbed, trekked, and led
groups in mountains around the world.
He consults and lectures widely on mountains, creativity,
leadership, and teamwork to organizations such as the American Museum of
Natural History, AACSB
(International Association for Management Education), the National Geographic Society, the Smithsonian
Institution, and Sprint Corporation.
Useem is William and Jacalyn Egan Professor of Management and Director
of the Center for Leadership and Change Management at the Wharton School,
University of Pennsylvania. Mike
is author of Leading Up: How to Lead Your Boss So You Both Win (Crown
House, 2001), The
Leadership Moment: Nine True Stories of Triumph and Disaster and Their
Lessons for Us All (Random House, 1998), Investor
Capitalism: How Money Managers Are Changing the Face of Corporate America (Basic
Books/HarperCollins, 1996) and Executive
Defense: Shareholder Power and Corporate Reorganization (Harvard
University Press, 1993). He
has consulted on organizational development with companies, U.S. Agency
for International Development, U.N. organizations, and other agencies in
the Latin America, Asia, and Africa.
His university teaching includes MBA and executive-MBA courses on
leadership and change, he offers programs for managers in the U.S., Asia,
Europe, and Latin America, and he has climbed in the Alps, Cascades,
Sierras, Tetons, and East Africa.
Tel.: 215-898-7684. E-mail:
Jangbu Sherpa: In Nepal,
our trek is organized and supported by Ang Jangbu Sherpa, one of the most
experienced trekking and climbing guides in the Himalayas.
He is a partner and director of Great Escapes, a premier trekking
and climbing organizations in Nepal.
Educated at the Sir Edmund Hillary Schools in the villages of
Phortse and Khumjung (we will visit both villages), Jangbu summited Mt.
Everest on the 1990 American Everest Expedition.
His other expeditions include the 1981 American Medical Research
Expedition to Everest, the first Belgian Expedition to Dhaulagiri in 1982
(where he summited), the 1983 American Men & Women’s Everest
Expedition (led by Geographic Expeditions President Jim Sano), the 1986
American Everest Hang Gliding Expedition, the 1991 American Everest
Expedition, and the 1992 British Makalu Expedition.
Ang Jangbu has climbed Europe’s Mt. Blanc and most of the 14,000
foot peaks in Colorado, and has served as instructor for Colorado Outward
Bound. In 1999, Ang Jangbu and Great Escapes provided support to the
Mallory & Irvine Research Expedition that discovered George
Mallory’s remains on Mt. Everest. E-mail:
Evan Wittenberg is the Director of the Wharton Leadership
Program. He has responsibility for the core MBA course Foundations of
Leadership and Teamwork, and teaches in the MBA program. Evan’s work
focuses on change management and leadership development. An avid world
traveler and outdoorsman, his most recent summits include Kilimanjaro
(Tanzania, 19,340 ft.) and Cotopaxi (Ecuador, 19,347 ft.). Never shy of
a good physical challenge, Evan is a black belt and instructor in full
contact karate, and plays rugby with the Wharton Wharthogs. He is an
MBA graduate of the Wharton School. Tel.: 215-573-0590. E-mail:
Expeditions, one of the leading American outfitters for treks of this
kind, is preparing and supporting the trip.
Sanjay Saxena and Vivi Mayer are responsible for our trip
(800-777-8183, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org), and Herbert Fong (email@example.com) helps arrange travel to Nepal.
In Nepal, Great Escapes provides our direct trekking support.
The trip entails much up and
downhill movement on mountain trails for six to seven hours per day.
We begin at an elevation of 9,300 feet and reach more than 18,000
feet at our high points. Participants should follow a good aerobic and stair climbing
program or engage in frequent hiking in hilly country prior to the trip.
Extreme conditioning is not required, but a vigorous conditioning
program should be followed to ensure that you comfortably master the
terrain, and you must not be over-weight. For the sake of the group and your own enjoyment, it is very
important to be in good shape at the start.
The trek involves no technical mountaineering, and it does not use
ropes, crampons or other climbing equipment.
ORGANIZATION OF THE TREK
We emphasize continuous learning on the trail through
daily pre-planned seminars and many unanticipated events on the trail.
Most days have a noontime seminar on a topic related to leadership
and teamwork, and an evening discussion generally related to the day’s
experience and plans for the next day. We devote time to considering leadership and team dynamics on
the historic climbs of Mt. Everest, Annapurna and other peaks, across
organizations and cultures, and within our own trekking party,
and we draw out the lessons for leadership and teamwork in our work and
personal lives. We meet with monks at the Tengboche monastery and officials
of Sagarmatha (Mt.
Everest) National Park, and engage with sherpas along
the way. We are sure to
encounter a number of unanticipated events on the trail.
During the past four years, for instance, we have met a number of
climbers who had just summitted Mt. Everest.
From time to time our group is divided into
sub-groups for trekking and discussion during part of the day to provide
more opportunities for personal engagement, but we re-gather for all meals
and evening events.
Two trek participants take responsibility for each
day’s events. They lead the
mid-day seminar and the evening discussion, and they carry
responsibilities for the day’s goal setting, special challenges,
logistical issues, teamwork concerns, organizational dilemmas, and
personal problems ranging from irritation to illness.
They meet with the venture organizers the
day before their day of responsibility to review plans and challenges for
the following day, and during the evening discussion prior to their day,
they outline the next day’s departure times, itinerary, and
the evening discussion of their day, they describe the challenges in the
day’s leadership experience.
AND DEVELOPMENT PLANS
Participants are encouraged to create plans for
entrepreneurial ventures and development projects for the Khumbu region,
and awards for the best plans are presented at the trek’s final dinner
and celebration in Kathmandu on the final evening.
Among the projects proposed on past treks are the introduction of
solar power for the spinning of prayer wheels along the trail and an
investment in the development of athletic facilities of a primary school
in the village of Phortse.
Information on Mt. Everest and its region can
be found at several web sites:
Mt. Everest News
Mt. Everest in the Mountain
Mt. Everest Net
Nepal Photo Index
Nepal News Online
Nova Online | Lost on Everest: The Search for Mallory and
Trekking in Nepal
and articles on leadership, teamwork, trekking, mountaineering, Himalayan
lore, and Nepalese culture are usefully read as preparation for the trek.
Everybody should independently purchase
and read Jon Krakauer’s Into
Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster. (Villard/Random House, 1997).
trek reader includes the following articles and book excerpts:
McGuinness, Trekking in the Everest Region.
Surrey, U.K.: Trailblazer Publications, 1998 (3rd
Edition), pp. 146-177.
Bernbaum, Sacred Mountains of the World. Berkeley,
Ca.: University of California Press, 1998, Introduction (pp. xiii-xxii)
and Chapter 1, “The Himalayas: Abode of the Sacred” (pp. 2-23).
The World’s 14 Highest Mountain Peaks.
Quotes on Everest.
Outdoor Leadership School, Leadership Education Toolbox.
Lander, Wyoming: National Outdoor Leadership School, 2000, pp. 30-32 and
Herzog, Annapurna: First Conquest of
an 8000-meter Peak. New York: Dutton, 1997.
Foreword; Ch. 1 “Preparations”; Ch.12, “The Assault”; Ch.
13, “The Third of June”; Ch. 14, “The Crevasse”; Ch. 15, “The
Avalanche”; Ch. 17, “The Woods of Lete”; Ch. 20, “There Are Other
Annapurna: A Woman’s Place.
San Francisco: Sierra Club Books, 1998 (20th anniversary
edition), Chapter 7, “The Mountain Gods,” pp. 96-108.
Roberts, “Rewriting Annapurna?” Climbing
Magazine, December 15, 1997 – February 1, 1998, pp. 72-78.
Bernbaum, The Way to Shambala: The
Search for the Mythical Kingdom Beyond the Himalayas. Garden City,
N.Y.: Anchor Press/Doubleday, 1980, Ch. 1, “Behind the Ranges”; Ch. 3,
“The Hidden Valleys”; Ch. 5, “The Wheel of Time.”
from Buddhist Scriptures, Edward
Conze, translator. New York:
Viking Press, 1959 reprint.
Ortner, Life and Death on Mt. Everest: Sherpas and Himalayan
Princeton University Press, 1999. Chapter
von Furer-Haimendorff, The Sherpas
of Nepal: Buddhist Highlanders. Berkeley: University of California
Press, 1964, pp. 281-283.
Bernbaum, compiler, Mountain Passages.
F. Hornbein, Everest, The West Ridge.
New York: Mountaineers Books, 1998, excerpts.
Gabriel, “Scaling Corporate Heights Without Going Over a Cliff,” New York Times, June 1, 1997, p. F 10.
McCoy, “The Parable of the Sadhu,” Harvard
Business Review, September-October, 1983, pp. 103-108.
from The Song of God: The Bhagavad Gita.
Swami Prabhavananda and Christopher Isherwood, translators. New York: New American Library, 1987.
from The Way of Life According to
Lao Tzu, Witter Bynner, translator. New York: Berkeley Publishing
Group, 1986 reprint.
and River Blindness.
We recommend reading John Gardner’s On Leadership (Free Press, 1993) and Mike Useem’s The
Leadership Moment: Nine True Stories of Triumph and Disaster and Their
Lessons for Us All (Random House, 1998) as general foundations for
thinking about leadership. We
also recommend, time permitting, the full books by Arlene Blum, Maurice
Herzog, and Thomas Hornbein cited above.
You may wish to purchase Ngawang Tenzin Zangbu and
Frances Klatzel’s Stories and Customs of the Sherpas online
or in Kathmandu (Kathmandu:
Mera Publications, 2000).
ITINERARY AND SEMINARS
jane bela ayo!
Nepalese: It’s time to go to the Himalayas.
ngantso kangrila dro goyö.
Tibetan: Now we must go to the glacial snow mountains (the Himalayas).
1: Kathmandu (4,590
Travel: Many trekkers
arrive in Kathmandu by early afternoon, though some may have come a day or
two earlier. The afternoon is
free to explore the winding lanes and ancient courtyards of Kathmandu.
Late in the afternoon we are briefed by Ang Jangbu Sherpa of Great
Escapes on the logistics of the trek, with details on transportation,
weather, and the Sherpa team. Staying
at the Shangrila Hotel, our first evening discussion is held over dinner.
McGuinness, Trekking in the Everest
Region, pp. 146-177.
discussion: Trekking, Leadership, and Teamwork
Self-introductions, the purpose of the trek, personal
reasons for joining the trek, and building a trekking team.
Future prizes are announced for participants who can name all of
the world’s fourteen 8,000-meter peaks and who know the names of all of
our sherpa guides by dinner of our first evening in the village of
2: PHAKDING (8,700
Trek: Morning transfer to Kathmandu Airport for the flight to Lukla,
a landing strip hewn out of the rocky mountainside at an elevation of
9,350 feet. Due to the
unpredictable nature of mountain weather, delays can occur.
The flight path is parallel to the Himalayas, and the great massifs
of Gaurishankar, Menlungtse, and Cho Oyu are visible. The Sherpa team is waiting for us at Lukla, and when all is
ready, we set forth on a broad trail leading down to the Dudh Kosi River.
From here, the trail leads along the east bank, gradually gaining
elevation to the village of Phakding, where the first night’s camp is
seminar: Mountain Lore and Metaphor
and climbing provide natural metaphors for moving through a corporate
environment and attaining personal and organizational goals.
By examining the variety of ways people approach mountains, we can
use mountains as metaphors to help us find new and more creative ways of
dealing with problems in the office or at home.
Discussion establishes a framework for relating experiences on the
trek to issues of leadership and teamwork in the workplace.
We look during the days that follow to identify a mountain that best
represents the work career and personal course that lie ahead for each of
Ed Bernbaum, Sacred Mountains of the
World, Introduction and Chapter 1, “The Himalayas”; Quotes on Mt.
We begin by focusing on our destination ahead.
During the next phase of the exercise, we focus on what is around
us. Finally, we imagine a place or activity where we would like
to be or be doing if we were not trekking into one of the great mountain
landscapes on earth. With
this experience, our evening discussion is devoted to issues of strategic
planning, goal setting, process, personal inspiration, and responding to
changing situations and evolving conditions.
discussion: Setting the
stage: Debriefing on the day, what lies ahead, a report on the
day’s leadership experience, a reporting by all on their physical and
health conditions, and an introduction to all of the members of the Sherpa
team (we present trek shirts to each).
National Outdoor Leadership School, Leadership
Education Toolbox, excerpts.
BAZAR (ll,300 feet)
Trek: A long and challenging day with many ups and downs from
Phakding to Namche, with and extended and steep hill trail leading into
Namche. Along the trail are
villages interspersed with forests of rhododendron, magnolia trees,
and giant firs. Towards the
end of the day, about half-way up the final hill to Namche, we find our
first views of the snowed-capped summits of Lhotse (27,916 feet) and Mt.
Everest (29,035 feet). The
town of Namche is the largest and most prosperous in the Khumbu region of
Nepal. Historically, it was
the trading center where grain from the south was exchanged for salt from
Tibet, and it remains the main trading center of the region today.
Leadership, Decisions, and Risk
excerpts Maurice Herzog’s and Arlene Blum’s books on Annapurna to
discuss the extent to which the leader should become directly engaged in
the daily work of the organization, and how they make decisions and manage
Herzog’s climb of Annapurna is unusual in that it offers one of the few
examples of the leader of a large expedition actually going to the top and
making a first ascent. Given
what happened to Herzog and others on the way down, would they have been
better off if he had stayed below in a better command post where he could
have communicated and coordinated evacuation efforts more effectively?
On the other hand, did his act of leading to the top prove critical
in motivating and guiding the team on the way up?
Arlene Blum’s expedition, she does not go for the top for herself, but
four others do succeed in reaching it.
Then, two others set out for a second ascent despite Blum’s
misgivings and her cautioning against it.
The two never return. Should
– and could – Blum and others on the expedition have prevented the
twosome’s fateful decision to go for the summit?
Chapters from Maurice Herzog, Annapurna,
and Arlene Blum, Annapurna:A
Today the two leaders experiment with walking at the front of
the group, in the middle, and at the rear, focusing on the pros and cons
of each for team leadership, both on the trail and in the work world.
On succeeding days, the two leaders experiment with this and other
approaches, and the day’s experience becomes part of each evening’s
Evening discussion: Divergent
Participant Accounts of Shared Events
was Maurice Herzog’s account of his historic climb of Annapurna
different from the memories of some of the other expedition members? More generally, what explains why participants in the same
set of events often have such different memories of them or create such
different accounts of about them?
David Roberts, “Rewriting Annapurna?”
After a level stretch, the trail from Namche drops down to the Dudh Kosi,
a gushing river. Crossing the
river at Phunki Tenga, we climb a long, hillside trail to the saddle at
the top of the hill to Tengboche Monastery.
Tengboche offers one of the most stunning panoramas
in the Himalaya – Tawoche (2l,463 feet), Nuptse (25,843 feet), Mt.
Everest (29,035 feet), Lhotse (27,9l6 feet), Ama Dablam (22,493 feet),
Kangtega (22,235 feet), Thamserku (2l,806 feet), and Kwande (20,806 feet). Founded some fifty years ago by Lama Gulu, the monastery is
the main spiritual center of the Khumbu.
The main temple was destroyed by an earthquake in l933, was
reconstructed and again destroyed by a fire in 1989, and, with the
assistance of many trekkers, the monastery has once again been rebuilt.
Buddhism is believed to have been introduced into the
Khumbu towards the end of the 17th century by Lama Sange Dorje, the fifth
of the reincarnate lamas of the Rongbuk Monastery in Tibet on the other
side of Mt. Everest. According
to local legend, Sange Dorje flew over the Himalayas and landed on rocks
at Pangboche and Tengboche, where he left his footprints.
seminar and evening discussion: The Buddhist Path to Awakening
A survey of the nature
and history of Buddhism as preparation for understanding and appreciating
our experience of Tengboche, and as a basis for approaching Eastern
conceptions of action and leadership.
Readings: Ed Bernbaum, The
Way to Shambhala, Chapter 5, “The Wheel of Time,” and selections
from Buddhist Scriptures
We become acquainted with basic techniques of relaxation and meditation
and explore their possible applications and benefits for those in
stressful leadership positions. We
also examine their relevance for doing business in Asian cultures, such as
Japan, China, and India. day
Morning: Weather permitting, a climb at dawn up the lower slopes of
Kangtega for a commanding view of Tengboche and the surrounding peaks,
including Khumbila, Ama Dablam, and Mt. Everest.
Buddhism and Spiritual Leadership.
Discussion with the
Tengboche Rimpoche, abbot of the monastery, and his monks on life at a
monastery and the role of spiritual leadership in business and society. We visit the gomba or temple and discuss Tibetan art and its
relationship to Buddhist thought and practice.
We also look at cultural, educational and other projects at
Tengboche funded by the Himalayan Trust and the American Himalayan
Foundation. Later in the day,
we make an optional visit to a medical clinic and a nunnery in the nearby
settlement of Deboche.
seminar and evening discussion: Divergent
Conceptions of Leadership and Teamwork.
traditionally elect people to serve as village heads only if they do not
aggressively seek the position. Anybody
who wants the job for personal benefit is viewed as unfit to serve the
community. Discussion with
sirdar Ang Jangbu Sherpa – our sherpa leader – on sherpa conceptions
of leadership and teamwork, and how they differ from Western ideals. This leads to a more general examination of divergent
conceptions of leadership in non-Western cultures.
During the evening we discuss the meeting with the Tengboche
Rimpoche and our impressions of the Tengboche Monastery.
von Furer-Haimendorff, The Sherpas
of Nepal, excerpt;
Sherry Ortner, Life and Death on Mt.
Everest, Chapter 3, “Sherpas.”
Exercise: Each of us selects an inspirational passage from "Mountain
Passages" in the reader -- or a passage of our own choosing -- and
goes off in the afternoon to a scenic spot to contemplate the view in light of the chose passage, going back and forth from mountain
to text. We discuss our impressions afterward and relate the
experience to the role of inspiration and renewal in leadership.
Trek: Passing through
Deboche, the path climbs gradually to Pangboche, the location of a gompa
built some 300 years ago at the time Buddhism was introduced into the
Khumbu. Climbing steadily,
the route follows the Imja Khola high above the river.
As the valley opens, we cross a tributary stream coming from the
Khumbu Glacier and hike straight on to the stone village of Dingboche
surrounded by fields of wheat, one of the highest year-round settlements
of the region.
are formed for the day’s hike, and each team creates a name, slogan,
logo, theme, joke, and song for a dinner-time presentation.
Lunch seminar: Alternative Paths to the Top
In Thomas Hornbein’s
Everest: The West Ridge, an
account of the first American ascent of Everest and the first-ever ascent
of its West Ridge in 1963, we see two objectives and two kinds of
leadership and teamwork at work: those who choose the unclimbed but less
certain West Ridge and those who choose the previously climbed but more
certain regular route via the South Col.
The former is achieved by a small group in “alpine” style, the
latter through a large team effort in “siege” or “assault” manner.
What are the distinctive styles of leadership and teamwork required
to make small teams and large organizations successful?
Hornbein, Everest: The West Ridge,
Evening discussion: Reaching
the Summit and Getting Back.
Did George Mallory and
Andrew Irvine reach the summit of Mt. Everest on the afternoon of June 8,
1924? What accounts for the
immense interest in whether they did reach the summit?
What defines reaching a summit, and why is that so important in
mountaineering – and in management?
What are the pitfalls and dangers of getting to the top and then
down from it, both in climbing and business?
How can we better anticipate and plan for problems?
plan our goals and logistics for the next day.
Some trekkers will aim for the summit of Chukhung Ri, others for
other destinations. How can
teams within your organization seek alternative route to the same – or
perhaps even different goals – without undermining the objectives of one
another or the whole?
are presented to those who identify all fourteen of the world’s
8,000-meter peaks and all of our guides.
David Roberts, “Out of Thin Air: 75 Years Later, Everest Finally Gives
up Mallory’s Ghost.”
7: DINGBOCHE TO
CHUKHUNG (15,514 feet) AND
Trek: The trail from Dingboche is ill‑defined but follows the
main line of the valley ascending gently.
We see Ama Dablam and the high ridges leading to the Amphu Labtsa
pass on the right and the massive southern flanks of Nuptse on the left
Leaving by 3 AM, we requires several hours to reach the high
village of Chukhung. As dawn
breaks, the trail leads across mixed rubble and grassland, and the famous
south faces of Nuptse and Lhotse loom above.
After a brief tea and coffee break at Chukhung, many set out for
one or both of the two summits of Chukhung Ri (the 17,772 feet and 18,238
feet). Others set out for
vistas on a high plateau along the way up to Chukhung Ri.
discussion: Leadership, Teamwork, and Responsibility When It Really
What went right – and what went wrong – on the
fateful day of May 10, 1996 when three climbing expeditions,
simultaneously nearing the summit of Mt. Everest, are hit by a violent
The evening discussion is also devoted to a reporting
of the day’s experiences by the various groups, and a planning for the
next day’s several options.
Jon Krakauer, Into Thin Air;
Trip Gabriel, “Scaling Corporate Heights Without Going Over a Cliff.”
8: exploration of dingboche region
decisions made at dinner the evening before, groups may set out for
several destinations, including Nangkartshang Peak above Dingboche, lakes
nestled at the foot of Ama Dablam, the base camps for Island Peak or
Taboche, or toward the high pass of Amphu Labtsa.
If the weather is not clear the day before, we
reverse the itinerary and do the preceding on May 10 and climb Chukhung Ri
today. This increases the
likelihood of open vistas on the high point of our trek.
discussion: What is our
obligation and responsibility for assisting those who are faltering around
us? Arlene Blum writes about her discomfort in unloading tons of
goods and expensive equipment in front of children with bare feet.
Is there an obligation of the fortunate to aid the less fortunate,
and if so when? Did Buzz
McCoy do or not do the right thing when he encountered the freezing Sadhu
near the high pass not far from Annapurna?
Did Anatoli Boukreev, Rob Hall, Scott Fischer, and others take the
right actions in assisting others in distress as the storm enveloped Mt.
Everest late on the afternoon of May 10, 1996?
Bowen McCoy, “The Parable of the Sadhu”; Jon Krakauer, Into Thin Air.
9: PHORTSE (12,467 feet):
through Pheriche and reach the village of Phortse, the home of our sirdar
(lead sherpa), Ang Jangbu Sherpa. Along
the way, we visit sacred forests that have enjoyed greater protection than
other forest areas in Khumbu and examine why this has been the case.
During the evening, we visit a nearby school assisted by Sir Edmund
Hillary and to which prior Wharton trekkers have made financial
contributions (see http://leadership.wharton.upenn.edu/everest/Donations.shtml).
Lunch seminar and evening discussion: Leadership in a Multi-Cultural
Starting from our earlier of Sherpa conceptions of
leadership and teamwork, we go on to explore these issues in Indian,
Chinese, and Japanese cultures and how they influence the way we do
business across cultures in general.
What relevance do the Bhagavad
Gita’s conceptions of selfless action and Lao Tzu’s ideal of
invisible leadership have in today’s world, both in our work and
Readings: Excerpts from the Bhagavad
Gita and from The Way of Life
According to Lao Tzu.
10: NAMCHE BAZAR (ll,300
Trek: Traverse several trails to Namche and the surrounding region,
with some groups possibly visiting the villages of Khumjung and Kunde (the
location of the region’s main medical clinic), the Everest View Hotel,
and the hostel for Phortse students that is under construction with
donations from participants on prior Wharton treks.
Divergent Concepts of Mountains, Money, and Responsibility
Westerners often view mountains as an objects to be
conquered, while many Nepalese see mountains as sacred places not to be
disturbed. U.S. companies
operate across national boundaries, and they frequently encounter enormous
disparities in wealth and wage rates.
How well should you compensate your factory or office workers in a
third-world country? Do you
have an obligation to assist people who are destitute?
Did Merck do the right thing in committing itself to donating
Mectizan for treating river blindness forever?
Reading: Merck and River Blindness
meeting and discussion: Conservation and Environmental Leadership
may have a visit from the warden and others at the headquarters of
Sagarmatha National Park (a World Heritage site).
We examine questions of sustainable development, environmental
protection, and the differing roles of national parks and conservation
efforts in developing countries and the U.S.
We also consider the role of culture in preserving the environment
and how business leaders can contribute.
Trek: The track is the same trail used on the first day from
Phakding to Namche. We check
into a hotel adjacent to the airstrip.
Lunch seminar: The Myths and Mysteries of Modern Life
Beliefs and assumptions, both true and false,
underlie almost every facet of modern life, functioning for us as myths do
for people in traditional cultures. Elaborated
in the form of stories, theories and ideas, they shape the ways we think,
feel and perceive ourselves and the world around us.
We explore Himalayan legends – including Hilton’s Shangri-La –
and the myths of our own work world to examine the ways they shape our
behavior and the ways in which they can be used to shape the behavior of
Reading: Ed Bernbaum’s The
Way to Shambhala, excerpts.
discussion: We review our
experiences during the trek, focusing on the leadership and teamwork
implications our work and careers back home.
celebration: Most of the
sherpas remain in the Khumbu region, and we celebrate the end of our trip
with them through sherpa songs and dance – and American songs and dance.
Travel: Morning flight from Lukla to Kathmandu.
Due to the unpredictable nature of mountain weather, the flight may
not depart on schedule, but if it does, afternoon options include swimming
at the Hotel Shangrila, exploring and shopping in the Kathmandu, and
biking in the Kathmandu valley.
representative of the Mountain Institute in Kathmandu may lead an
illustrated discussion of the Institute’s varied programs in Nepal and
Tibet, including the creation of an international wildlife preserve around
early morning flight over Mt. Everest may be taken very early today or
Optional visits to old Kathmandu and drive to the Buddhist
stupa of Swayambhunath – the mythical origin of Kathmandu.
We can roam the city’s medieval streets, bargain for arts and
crafts, and visit Durbar Square, Hanuman Dhoka, the Royal Palace, and the
Temple of the Living Goddess. Visits
to the nearby towns of Patan and Bhaktapur, shopping in Kathmandu, and
mountain biking in the hills around Kathmandu valley are among the other
celebration: Lasting lessons from the Himalayas, and awards for the
best entrepreneurial and development plans prepared during the trek.
14: return to the u.s.
Morning tour: Breakfast
at Mike’s Café and further touring and shopping in Kathmandu.
Many of the trekkers depart in early afternoon for Bangkok, while others
remain in Nepal or travel to India, Tibet, or elsewhere.
of the suggested books are available through online booksellers.
Teamwork, and Mountaineering
and David Roberts, The Lost
Explorer: Finding Mallory on Mt. Everest.
New York: Simon & Schuster, 1999.
Warren Bennis and Patricia Ward Biederman, Organizing
Genius: The Secrets of Creative Collaboration.
Reading, Ma.: Addison-Wesley, 1997.
Edwin Bernbaum, Sacred Mountains of the World.
Berkeley, Ca.: University of
California Press, 1998.
Anatoli Boukreev and G.
Weston Dewalt, The Climb: Tragic
Ambitions on Everest. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1997.
David Breashears and Audrey Salkeld, Last Climb: The Legendary Everest Expeditions of George Mallory.
Washington: National Geographic Society, 1999.
Collins, Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…and Others
New York: HarperBusiness, 2001.
Roger Frison-Roche and Sylvain Jouty, A History of Mountain Climbing. New York: Flammarion. Trans. Deke
Lene Gammelgaard, Climbing
High: A Woman’s Account of Surviving the Everest Tragedy.
Seattle: Seal Press, 1999.
Gardner, Leading Minds: An Anatomy
York: Basic Books, 1995.
Gardner, On Leadership.
York: Free Press, 1993.
Jochen Hemmleb, Larry A. Johnson, and Eric R.
Simonson, Ghosts of Everest: The
Search for Mallory & Irvine.
Seattle: The Mountaineers Books, 1999.
Thomas F. Hornbein, Everest,
The West Ridge. New York : Mountaineers Books, 1998.
My Father's Soul: A Sherpa's Journey to the Top of Everest.
New York: Harper San Francisco, 2001.
Michael Useem, Leading Up: How to Lead Your Boss
So You Both Win. New
York: Crown Books/Random House, 2001.
and History (in addition to those suggested by Geographic Expeditions)
Bynner, trans., The Way of Life
According to Lao Tzu. New York: Berkeley Publishing Group, 1986
F. Fisher, Sherpas: Reflections on
Change in Himalayan Nepal. Berkeley & Los Angeles: University of
California Press, 1990.
Margaret Jefferies, Mount
Everest National Park: Sagarmatha Mother of the Universe.
Seattle: Mountaineers Books, 1991.
O’Rourke and Bimal Shrestha, Lonely
Planet Nepali Phrasebook. Oakland,
Ca.: Lonely Planet Publications, 1996 (3rd edition).
Pradhavananda and Christopher Isherwood, translators, The Song of God: Bhagavad-Gita. New York: New American Library,
Rawson, Sacred Tibet. Thames
& Hudson, 1991.
Matles Savada, ed., Nepal and
Bhutan: Country Studies, 3rd Edition. Claitors Publishing Division,
Stanley F. Stevens, Claiming
the High Ground: Sherpas, Subsistence and Environmental Change in the
Highest Himalaya. 1993, Berkeley: University of California Press.
Ngawang Tenzin Zangbu (Abbot of Tengboche) and
Frances Klatzel, Stories and Customs
of the Sherpas, 3rd Edition. Kathmandu: Mandala Book Point, 1995.
Stan Armington, Lonely
Planet Trekking in the Nepal Himalaya.
Oakland, Ca.: Lonely Planet Publications, 1997 (7th edition).
Stephen Bezruchka, Trekking
in Nepal: A Travelers Guide, 7th Edition. Seattle: The Mountaineers, 1997.
Lisa Choegyal, ed., Insight
Guides: Nepal. Boston: Houghton Mifflin (for APA), 1997.
Finlay, Richard Everist, and Tony Wheeler, Nepal: A Lonely Planet Survival Kit.
Oakland, Ca.: Lonely Planet Publications, 1997 (3rd edition), pp.
Wharton Leadership Ventures, 1998-2005.