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The Mountain Within: Leadership Lessons and Inspiration for Your Climb to the Top (Business Books) Hardcover – July 12, 2011
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From the Back Cover
In July 2008, international business executive Herta von Stiegel led a group of disabled people to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro to raise money for charity. The story was captured in the award-winning documentary The Mountain Within―and now the expedition has inspired this remarkable work, which blends the gripping tale with powerful leadership lessons and conversations with many of the world’s most influential business leaders:
- Kay Unger
- Sung-Joo Kim
- Dr. Joachim Faber
- Baroness Scotland of Asthal
- Marsha Serlin
- Dr. Karl (Charly) and Lisa Kleissner
- Martha (Marty) Wikstrom
- Sam Chisholm
- Minister Mohamed Lotfi Mansour
- Karin Forseke
- President and Lt. General Seretse Khama Ian Khama
- Christie Hefner
- Abeyya Al-Qatami
- Hon. Al Gore and David Blood
- Dr. Mohamed “Mo” Ibrahim
Life may be full of obstacles, but it is the mountain within that most often needs to be conquered. No matter your challenges or where you are on your climb to the top, this unique work helps you become a resilient leader capable of guiding your team to achieve even the most challenging goal.
About the Author
Herta von Stiegel is founder and CEO of Ariya Capital Group, a Gaborone- and London-based fund management firm focusing on sustainable investments in Africa. An international executive with a consistent track record of building profitable structured finance businesses, she has held senior positions at Citibank and JP Morgan and, until 2005, was Managing Director at AIG Financial Products. A U.S. tax lawyer by training, Herta practiced law prior to becoming a banker specializing in international taxation and mergers and acquisitions. A popular and highly soughtafter speaker, she has been featured on CNBC, Fox, BBC, Bloomberg, SA FM (South African radio), BBC Radio 4, and in financial print media, including the Financial Times. She lives in London, England.
Top customer reviews
This book weaves those two elements extremely well and, by incorporating the same leadership/life lessons learned through her challenging ascent of Mount Kilimanjaro, she has lent even more authenticity to her observations - and made for an enthralling "read".
I was fortunate enough to have accompanied Herta on an earlier much tamer expedition, the ascent of Mount Toubkal in Morocco. This paled in comparison to the challenges of Kilimanjaro, but for many of the neophytes in the group (myself included), it was a challenge way beyond anything we had done before. And here we were able to observe Herta just as she is portrayed in the book: caring, responsible, pragmatic and inspiring. It was her encouragement that led us to try the ascent in the first place and her leadership that propelled us to the top....
Lastly, I found the interviews in the book very illuminating. Again, this was not just Herta von Stiegel's view of the challenges of leadership but observations from a wide ranging group of accomplished individuals.
All in all, this is a book worth reading......
The reason why the author wrote the book is because we "need leaders who can relate spiritually and humanely to their fellow human beings . . . They must be leaders who know not to stay too long at the top, because the rarefied atmosphere in the upper echelons causes us to lose perspective, to become intoxicated with power, status, and wealth and to lose touch with what matters" (xi). She cautions every leader that the "world is full of people who stay too long in positions of power; at best, they tarnish their legacy, and at worst, they can cause untold damage to themselves, their organizations, or their countries" (215). All these leadership lessons are reinforced by conversations the author had with notable leaders such as Hon. Al Gore, former Vice President and Nobel Peace Prize winner; Kay Unger, American fashion designer; etc. The book is a call to create a framework for leadership based on integrity, transparency, and the power of teamwork (xi).
The Mountain Within is written in a smooth, logical, and easy-to-follow manner. Every lesson is being cemented by real life applications from either the author's Mount Kilimanjaro expedition or the author's abundant life and business experience.
Herta von Stiegel has brilliantly succeeded in her goal to combine invaluable leadership lessons in the matrix of an expedition. I highly recommend this book to any reader who is a leader or aspires to the ranks of leadership.