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Himalayan Leadership Seminar Trek to Mount Everest

Sunday, May 12, 2013
Co-led by Michael Useem and Edwin Bernbaum
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 . . . .

Purpose: 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.  A unique combination of learning and trekking, The Leadership Seminar Trek is an extraordinary educational opportunity to develop and strengthen your leadership skills and capacities, cross-train your mind, and reflect on your leadership with others who share the same concerns among 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 inspiration.  Mountain 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 goal." Through discussions and exercises on the trail, the seminar uses mountains, mountaineering, and trekking as powerful cross-cultural metaphors to expand and deepen our understanding of leadership and teamwork.

Seminar Leaders: Mike Useem is the William and Jacalyn Egan Professor of Management and Director of the Center for Leadership and Change Management at the Wharton School and author of numerous books on leadership, including The Leadership Moment and The Leader's Checklist .  He has worked on organizational and leadership development with many companies and organizations in the U.S. and abroad. Ed Bernbaum is a lecturer, scholar, and leading authority on mountains as sources of inspiration and meaning. Peak Paradigms, his program of lectures and seminars, draws lessons from celebrated mountains around the world-such as Mt. Everest, Mt. Fuji, and Mt. Sinai-to develop the full range of leadership and team building skills needed in today's global market place. Ed is author of numerous publications, including the award-winning book Sacred Mountains of the World.

Location: We fly to Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, and then to Lukla in the Mt. Everest region. Shifting from airplane to foot, we trek up beautiful alpine valleys through Sherpa villages and forests of flowering rhododendrons to the Buddhist monastery of Tengboche with its classic view of the summit of Everest streaming with clouds.  We continue above tree line past glaciers to a high point at Chukhung Ri, a peak of 18,238 ft. directly across from Ama Dablam, one of the most spectacular peaks in the Himalayas.  From there, we look straight up the two-mile high rock and ice wall of Lhotse and gaze out toward the pointed summit of Makalu - the fourth and fifth highest mountains in the world.  Along the way we interact with the Sherpa people, meet with the Head Lama of Tengboche Monastery and explore issues of leadership and teamwork in one of the most dramatic physical and cultural settings on earth.

Eligible Participants:  The leadership trek is intended for those with management experience who are committed to engaging in the educational purpose of the trek.  You are entitled to bring additional individuals with you (spouse, significant other, child, parent, work associate or friend) who don't necessarily have management experience but who are nonetheless prepared to engage in the leadership agenda of the trek.  You will need to be in good physical condition for the substantial daily trekking over eleven days.  Please feel free to forward this call for participation to others who might be interested.
Leadership Trek Partner: Geographic Expeditions will be handling all land arrangements and logistics for this trip. Geographic is a leader in the adventure travel field and has successfully organized ten prior leadership treks for us to the Himalayas. 

Trek Dates:  You will need to arrive in Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal by Sunday, May 12, and you can depart from Kathmandu on Saturday, May 25.  For those traveling from the U.S., you will need to depart from the U.S. no later than May 10, and you can be home by May 25 or 26.  Those coming from elsewhere may require less travel time.

Trek Cost and Reservation: The land cost of the 2013 Himalayan Leadership Trek to Mount Everest starts at $4,450, depending on the number of participants.  The cost reflects the added educational component not included in comparable treks. If you are interested in joining the trek, please send an email message to the two of us - Mike Useem at useem@wharton.upenn.edu and Ed Bernbaum at edwin@peakparadigms.com - and to Geographic Expedition's Michael Steigerwald at michael@geoex.com.  If you have questions you'd like to discuss, you can also call Michael at 800-777-8183.  Additional information, a short video, and photos of a previous leadership trek to Everest are available at:
Leadership Trek to Mt. Everest  
Leadership Trek to Mt. Everest Video

A $500 deposit per person is required to confirm your reservation. Your balance of land and air costs will be required three months before the start of our trek.  Please call Michael at Geographic Expeditions if you wish to make your deposit by credit card over the phone.  Otherwise you can mail a deposit check made out to "Geographic Expeditions" to:

Michael Steigerwald, Geographic Expeditions, 1008 General Kennedy Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94129-0902

We very much hope that you will be able to join us on this learning experience among the highest mountains on earth!

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