Lessons from the guy who made it to the South Pole before anybody else

Amundsen in his work clothes.

Amundsen in his work clothes.

Today is one day after the one week anniversary of the 101st anniversary of Roald Amundsen’s arrival at the South Pole.  I meant to get this up last week, but I am bad at remembering anniversaries (just ask my partner).  This is a column I wrote for a now defunct part of the American Management Association’s Web site.  It seemed appropriate for this cold, snowy day in New York.


[Published December 14, 2011]

Today marks the 100th anniversary of one of the great feats in the history of management: Roald Amundsen’s arrival at the South Pole, the first such successful expedition in human history.

It might seem odd to mention exploration and management in the same breath, but we would not remember the names of all the great explorers, from Leaf Erickson to Neil Armstrong, if they had run out of supplies or lost command of their teams somewhere along the way.

Amundsen had no technological or financial advantage over his rivals.  (more…)