Shawn Stratton is an instructor of the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) who is also an author who has also presented webinars for ProjectManagement.com. He is a leader who uses the great outdoors as his office. He leads students and other people interested in expeditions or other excursions. He finds opportunities for students and those under his tutelage to use their own judgment and practice teamwork and risk management skills they have experienced in training at NOLS. This is a different experience when teaching others to use a canoe, go white water rafting, hiking or navigating with no points of reference or landmarks. He presents situations where a leader has to be transparent, bold, interested in his team and with the ability to communicate a clear objective.
He talks about leaders who weed their garden, that is identify their team members who are a “bad fit”, generate negativity and can lead a path of destruction, that is the wrong people on your team. Dealing with stubborn, selfish and angry students can make a leader’s life a difficult situation, and challenge to the best. But sometimes a leader is given a team and told to “take that hill.” There is not an opportunity to weed the team. We do not get that luxury, so our situations are different. But the life of an explorer as a leader using creativity to deal with challenges such as glaciers and raging rivers , metaphorically, can apply these skills to a work situation where you are driving to finish a development project under a tight deadline with a limited budget. All have to pitch in. It is all hands on deck with clear communication and the most serious of intentions to drive for success. Every team member has their role to accomplish the overall objective. There are no favorites.