Mountaineering legend wows business leaders with Everest leadership story

Sir Chris Bonington

Sir Chris Bonington at Lancaster University Management School

14 May 2014

Britain's most famous mountaineer this week wowed an audience of business leaders with a master-class about the organisation of a successful expedition to summit the world's highest mountain.

Sir Chris Bonington, who is in his final year as Chancellor of Lancaster University, told a packed theatre at Lancaster University’s Management School the story of his part in the record-breaking 1985 Norwegian Everest Expedition - which managed to place 18 climbers and sherpas on the summit.

Sir Chris was among the climbers who reached the peak and, at the age of 50, became the oldest person to have reached the summit at that time. He acted as the expedition’s chief of staff looking after the logistics and advising on strategy.

Drawing parallels between the qualities required to lead a successful Everest expedition and the business world Sir Chris said: “Something that I have found as I have become involved in business is that the basic principles of leadership and teamwork are fundamental.

“Nothing beats the achievement of a group of people working together with a common goal. The organisations that have been successful over time are those that have a high level of integrity.”

The master-class, which formed part of Lancaster University’s 50th anniversary celebrations, was attended by more than 150 business leaders enrolled on business growth programmes run by Lancaster University Management School, as well as members of the public.