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On the Edge: The Art of High-Impact Leadership

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  608 ratings  ·  80 reviews
On the Edge is an engaging leadership manual that provides concrete insights garnered from various extreme environments ranging from Mt Everest to the South Pole. By reflecting on the lessons learned from her various expeditions, author Alison Levine makes the case that the leadership principles that apply in extreme adventure sport also apply in today's extreme business e ...more
Hardcover, 242 pages
Published January 7th 2014 by Business Plus (first published January 1st 2014)
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Curt Anderson Hi Sharon,

"On the Edge" is an amazing book. Alison Levine is a true source of inspiration.

Check out a review here:…more
Hi Sharon,

"On the Edge" is an amazing book. Alison Levine is a true source of inspiration.

Check out a review here:

Another consideration, check out Alison's Ted Talk:

Thanks so much! (less)
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Average rating 4.11  · 
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Sean Jenan
Jan 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
I heard Alison interviewed on the Hugh Hewitt show and bought the book during the commercial break, taking the chance that Ms. Levine's writing would be as engaging as she was a speaker. If only all writers could be as deft and enthusiastic at promoting their projects!

I'm in the middle of revising a novel that heavily features mountaineering & Antarctica, so my interest is immediately piqued by all things frozen. My hope for her book was that I'd get lots of first person details of such adventu
Paul Pessolano
Jun 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing

“On The Edge” by Alison Levine, published by. Grand Central Publishing

Category – Business/Leadership Publication Date – January 07, 2014

This book may well be geared towards the business world, but my take on it is that it is a A book that can be useful to anyone. If I owned a company it would definitely be on the desk of all my employees. It is a book with a message for not only the CEO, but the employee that has put in thirty years, as well as the just hired employee of thirty minutes ago. A bo
Noelle Rolle
Jan 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I heard her speak at a medical conference and she was excellent. The next day I ordered her book and after reading it, I'm glad I did. Great book with strong, uplifting stories about leadership. Not afraid to share authentic, unique points of view and very funny and engaging. Love how she draws from her experiences with the expeditions and ties them in to various teaching points. I made alot of notes and I'm sure I'll be referring to this book for years to come. ...more
Eddie S.
I have no admiration for rock climbing. if you do, this book is for you. she equates business anecdotes with rock climbing. she teaches you the skills necessary to overcome obstacles.
Andrew Stahl
Jul 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Not too many leadership books revolve around skills that will help you survive in the most hostile environments on earth. And that’s just what Alison Levine brings us in her except memoir and leadership biopic on how she’s braved the highest peaks in the world. Levine knows that when you’re thousands of feet high, every member on the team is vital, not just the leader. Every person in the group needs to work and train to be a leader and take on leadership roles. Furthermore, a team is only a te ...more
Aug 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What a perfect book to be my first read of the New Year! I found the book so challenging and encouraging. Alison Levine writes about her journey to the top of Everest and making good comparisons in how you can apply those techniques to business and leadership. I find myself now, as I'm finishing off my New Year's goal list, wanting to actually do something challenging (like climb a mountain!). My favourite part was when she wrote about the importance of failure. How true. Very inspirational. Gre ...more
KJ Coop
Sep 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Alison was the keynote at the 2017 Solheim Cup Women's Leadership Summit in West Des Moines, IA. I heard her speak at that event and found myself leaning forward, fascinated by her climb on Everest. I couldn't wait for more details. I picked up the book within the hour. I was looking for more details about her climbs, but have found myself really paying attention to her leadership tips.

I enjoyed the adventure stories and learned from the leadership tips. It's an easy read. Alison writes convers
Billy Hart
Nov 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Ms. Levine earned many unique experiences and compares them to our own leadership capabilities. Although she has not attained the long range role of a Leader in a large organization, she certainly can relate to it with her many stories, anecdotes, and references to climbing, hiking and skiing.
As a reader we learn so much of her climbs (2) to Mt. Everest and 6 other highest peaks and compare those events to leadership and teamwork throughout.

Of interest also is her sense of humor. She made me l
Katrin V
Nov 24, 2017 rated it liked it
This book was highly recommended to me. I think Levine's points are very worthwhile and it probably isn't her fault that virtually all leadership lectures now use mountain climbing analogies so that her stories aren't as impactful as they might have been 10 years ago. I think you could get a lot of the value of this book by just reading the final paragraph of each chapter which sums up the lesson learned. ...more
Jessica Hafey
Aug 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Inspiring bed time stories

...that make you want to go outside and experience life!

Alison Levine does a phenomenal job at tying in leadership lesson that are not by any means your common guest speaker leadership lessons. Witty, intelligent, people smart, unrelenting in so many ways, this lady has won at life.

Recommended for anyone who loves short stories and is fascinated with challenges.
Jul 25, 2020 rated it it was ok
Alison Levine spoke at a conference I attended and I was blown away by her engaging speaking style and ability to take lessons from her experience as a world-class mountaineer and apply them to business. Unfortunately the book did not measure up to hearing her speak. Perhaps the audio version would have captured her energy? The best part of this for me was learning more about her Everest climbs, the leadership messages didn't quite connect for me in writing. ...more
Aug 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
If half stars were an option I'd rate this 3.5/5 but I rounded up.

I like Alison's philosophy on leadership and think more business people can benefit from reading this book. I also learned a whole lot about Everest, what it takes to climb it, and mountaineering in general. This is a good read even if you have no experience in (or desire to) climb mountains.
Mar 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely fantastic book for both its leadership takeaways AND its high adventure stories. Alison is both a great speaker and writer, and her stories (Everest, South Pole, Carstensz, etc) are gripping. I just wish I could’ve heard MORE of her stories - Alison has reached the highest peaks on all 7 continents, I think at least a sequel is in order!
Jessica N.
Jun 09, 2018 rated it liked it
We had an opportunity to listen to Levine at our world conference for work. Her Ted Talk and discussions are enlightening. However, her book is very wordy. Her points and journal are insightful, but it's buried underneath repetitive, and sometimes boring, dialogue. I recommend reading the last couple of paragraphs of each chapter and her summary box. ...more
Jun 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018, memoir
Alison has not only climbed Mt. Everest but all 7 Summits and been to both the North and South Pole. Truly amazing stories about all that she's accomplished and I enjoyed reading about that. I enjoyed her humor too, it kept the reading very light. I think she makes a lot of good points about leadership but I read the book more to hear about her adventures because that's what kept me interested. ...more
Laura Otting
Jan 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Alison takes the lessons that she’s learned, from climbing Mt. Everest twice as well as skiing on the North and South Pole and hiking almost every major mountain in this planet, and applies them to her book. Alison is amazing and On the Edge is a fantastic book where you can learn leadership lessons from someone who has walked the walk and talked the talk.
Gina Jo
Apr 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
No other leadership book could get me to read it on a Sunday morning. Great, practical lessons and advice from Alison, and they will stick because of the fantastic anecdotes. My pulse was racing for most of this book!
And Alison is a great writer to boot. She seems funny, humble, and gracious. I’d love to hear her speak in person.
Liz Cloos
Dec 22, 2019 rated it liked it
Overall, this book was entertaining and informative. Although I would the writing style more casual than I like, Alison has many lessons to share on leadership. For the amount of time, I would recommend her TED talk over the book. Both are good, but the TED talk will allow you to learn the key lessons faster.
Beth Katz
Aug 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This was a fabulous book. I did the audio version. Alison lead us through her travels and taught us about leadership every step of the way. I actually loved this book. I agree it is all about the journey and pushing yourself to the next level, surrounding yourself with great leaders and creating amazing teams.
Ahmed Ismail
May 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a quick and very intersting read. Alison climbed mount Everest twice. The book is about how to boost ur leadership skills by applying what she has learned​ from her adventure. All the lessons are applicable in all aspects of life. Give it a go.
Feb 27, 2019 rated it it was ok
Extremely anecdotal. Has very little to do with leadership in extreme environments. The author relies on truisms, personal stories, and dumb punchlines and then at the last minute throws in "and THAT'S what leadership is all about..." ...more
Krista Park
May 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction, memoir
Refreshing leadership book that is very non PC in a useful way.
Nila Parmerlee
Oct 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Easy read. Interesting and inspiring.
Arianna Rose
Jan 02, 2018 rated it liked it
Easy read, interesting dynamics.
Abby C. Fitzsimmons
Great Read

Very inspirational book. I think this is one I'll keep on the shelf to read again. The lessons learned here are invaluable and a must read.
Apr 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
Great descriptions and details of her "climbs". Leadership tips are very good, too. ...more
Aug 13, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-nonfiction
More about climbing than lessons on leadership.
Aug 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is so inspirational! Alison is a wonderful writer and outdoors athlete. Her strength and determination combined with completion and team work is nothing short of an incredible read.
Jan 17, 2021 rated it really liked it
Good stories of her expeditions with skills for leadership woven jn but kind of all over the place as far as how the book is organized.
Apr 04, 2021 rated it really liked it
It's a 3.5 for me.. ...more
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