Mike Pierce, known as “Antarctic Mike,” was one of the first to run the Antarctic Ice Marathon. He later became the first American to run the Antarctic 100k, a 62-mile jaunt on an ice shelf 600 miles from the South Pole.
Part of his training for that event was running a marathon in a 75-foot long industrial freezer in San Diego. Imagine how many times he had to go back-and-forth to get to 26.2 miles!
Pierce, who spoke at a recent Accelerent breakfast, works with organizations on finding, engaging and keeping the best performing people.
His “Leading at 90 Below Zero” presentation highlighted the leadership skills of Ernest Shackleton, who in 1914 led 28 men on what Pierce considers to be one of the greatest undertakings and leadership stories in recorded history, when the men were stranded in Antarctica for two years.
He said some people, like himself and Shackleton, are driven to do what has never been done before. We see it all the time. That is what drives the communications industry: finding new ways to reach our target audiences. Our term for it is “creativity.”
For businesses and executives to demonstrate their own leadership, Pierce stressed the importance of “telling your stories.” He said whether it is customers sharing stories about their experience with your company or employees sharing stories about their workplace, stories are what capture people’s interest.
While he didn’t actually say it, it sounds to me like an endorsement for smart companies to enlist the services of a good PR firm.