Corresponding Author

Nikolaus T. Butz


Leadership is a management tool to direct effective achievement of goals. Historical investigation can provide a valuable lens for the study of leadership styles. To that end, this study examines the disparate approaches of Roald Amundsen and Robert Scott as they raced to be the first explorer to reach the South Pole. The objective of this study is to analyze the leadership techniques used in these expeditions, and to determine how they shaped the outcome of each. The process of tacit knowledge and experience coalesce and foster both leadership and action that is not only communication-oriented and value-driven, but also rooted in growth mindset and reflexivity. Both of these concepts proved to be imperative to the success of both Amundsen and Scott’s expeditions. Ultimately, the experiences, choices, and eventual fate of polar explorers Roald Amundsen and Robert Scott provide a unique view of the human endeavor that holds valuable lessons for leaders in a variety of professional settings.