Weihenmayer’s Leadership and Team-Building Analysis

Subject: Leadership Styles
Pages: 2
Words: 575
Reading time:
2 min
Study level: College


Erik Weihenmayer is one of the most successful climbers in history, having reached the summit of Mount Everest while being significantly disadvantaged by blindness. In general, climbing one of the summits is considered an outstanding feat even for experienced professionals; therefore, the achievement of Erik Weihenmayer shaped the history of mount climbing. Nevertheless, this success could not have been possible without comprehensive planning and leadership. The current essay thoroughly analyzes the leadership style that Erik and his team utilized to climb Mount Everest.

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Leadership Style

Judging from the video ‘Mount Everest – Secrets of Team Building’, the leadership style could be characterized as a combination of strategic and team leadership. Erik and his climbing guide – Michael O’Donnell – continually mention the utmost significance of planning and teambuilding (BestYearYetResults, 2009). Furthermore, the two factors closely intertwine since many points of the strategy concerned team leadership and cooperation of the members. For instance, four of the Top Ten Goals in the plan regarded teambuilding and set the tone for the operation (BestYearYetResults, 2009). After all, climbing Mount Everest requires thorough planning, preparation, and confidence.

Leadership Impact

Consequently, it is essential to discuss the impact of the leadership style on the team members. First, the emphasis on strategy allowed the team to understand the hierarchy of objectives with the most significant goal of coming back alive. Climbing Mount Everest is a highly challenging task, and a large number of people have died on the slopes of the mountain. From these considerations, the vast emphasis on the objectives and specifically on coming back alive has significantly changed the perspectives and outlook of the team. Knowing that the climbing guide and other members had this goal in mind, the team members felt less stressed and were motivated to reach the summit. Furthermore, it set the tone of the mission and unified the perspectives of the team members. Mount Everest is a place that would require excellent team cooperation with no egotistical attitudes, and strategic leadership ensured that all the climbers had the same goals in mind.

Furthermore, preliminary teambuilding played a vital role in the successful ascent. In this sense, team leadership is another core constituent of their overall success. Before the ascent, one of the top objectives was to hold three meetings per week, which would allow the climbers to build a sense of trust and cooperation. Team leadership specifically emphasizes the emotional condition of the members to ensure that everyone is motivated and ready to help the members in need. Erik also mentions that a large number of climbing teams have failed due to the lack of cooperation and the prevalence of egotistical thoughts. Therefore, this variety of perspectives needed to be unified, while taking the values of the team members into account. As a result, Erik and the climbing crew were able to ensure excellent team cooperation that allowed them to conquer the mountain summit.


Climbing Mount Everest is an emotionally and physically demanding challenge; thus, comprehensive leadership is required. Erik and his climbing team utilized the combination of strategic and team leadership to ensure that all the members were motivated, unified in their objectives and values, and stress-free. This condition was achieved by thorough planning with the focus on the lives of the climbers and cooperation among them. Ultimately, the team was able to build a sense of trust and formulate clear objectives, which eventually led them to the summit of the mountain.


BestYearYetResults. (2009). Mount Everest – Secrets of team building. [Video]. Web.