Into Thin Air—Discuss Leadership examples (good and/or poor) from the novel that you have been reading all term


A leader is defined by Nahavandi as “any person that influences individuals and groups within an organization, helps them establish goals, and guides them toward achievement of those goals, thereby allowing them to be effective” (p. 3). In the novel Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer, the theme of leadership is present. In the first few chapters of the book, Krakauer was given the opportunity to do a story based on Mt. Everest’s rising commercialism and the guide services. He joined Rob Hall’s Adventure Consultants group expedition. Rob Hall has made quite a reputation for himself as he had an impressive success rate in leading people up the mountain (Krakauer, p. 37).

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Rob Hall proved to be a good leader as he was determined to lead his group to the Base Camp even though he was so sick (Krakauer, p. 74). He proved his good leadership skills by putting his clients’ goals first. He also tried to keep the group in good conditions and was constantly doing calculations making sure that the group was ready to embark (Krakauer, p. 77). In this situation, the Path-Goal Theory was applied which emphasizes that “leaders allow subordinates to fulfill their needs, and as a result, leaders reach their own goals” (Nahavandi, p. 77). Hall was an experienced leader with great organizational and technical skills who tried to help his clients reach their goals of climbing to the top. According to Nahavandi, leaders are role models and establish an emotional link with followers (pp. 10-12). Krakauer described that “whenever there was a problem – a labor dispute with the Sherpas, a medical emergency, a critical decision about climbing strategy – people trudged over to the mess tent to seek Hall’s advice” (p. 65). It seemed that Hall was a good leader and the most respected on the mountain.

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