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Outdoor Experiential Leadership: Scenarios Describing Incidents, Dilemmas, & Opportunities

Dr. Tom Smith and Dr. Pete Allison


ISBN: 9781427607461
SIZE: 7.125 x 9


Leadership involves many value-based decisions.  It is important for leaders to recognize how their personal values and ethics contribute to conflicts and dilemmas.

"The perplexing problem and critical incidents faced by experiential education leaders often have roots in confusing and conflicting values and ethical orientations.

Sometimes that confusion and conflict is within the leader, sometimes it is between two leaders, sometimes it is between the leader and the group, and sometimes it is between various members in the group. Good leadership requires knowing and understanding one's personal values and ethics, and knowing how personal values and ethical orientations of interacting people can impact (positively or negatively) shared experiences.

This book is about the complex value-based decisions, dilemmas, critical incidents, and interaction problems that experiential education leaders face. The book presents descriptive scenarios of incidents of situations based on reports from leaders in the field. Each scenario ends with the leader involved experiencing confusions, dilemmas, value-conflicts, and perplexities about what to do. For most of the situations, there is no "right" answer, and leaders will have to use their best judgment to make the call. There are rarely simple answers to the dilemmas that leaders face in the field; this is both the curse and the joy of working in experiential education. Perhaps that is what leadership is all about - reflecting on personal and professional knowledge and values, and then deciding on appropriate action." 


Chapter Titles:

  • The Knife
  • In The Dark
  • Hidden Feelings
  • Ivan The Loner
  • New Girl
  • Awesome Solo
  • The Bear Facts
  • Personality Problems
  • Power Tower
  • Weed In The Woods
  • Moody Blues


"An excellent teaching tool, whether in traditional educational settings, outdoor education centers, or other places where outdoor professionals gather and think about the unique situations that arise in their professional lives." (Dr. Jasper S. Hunt)

"It has long been recognized that the primary factor effecting the success and safety of adventurous activities, across a wide range of variations, is the competence of the leaders in charge. But competence is more than the ability to tie knots or navigate accurately: Human Factors have always been at the core. This book, perhaps uniquely, addresses this aspect with a pragmatic and interactive approach geared to the needs of the novice and developing leader, rather than being yet another academic treatise on the subject of leadership." (Marcus Bailie Head of Inspection, Adventure Activities Licensing Authority United Kingdom)

Outdoor Experiential Leadership

SKU: 9781427607461
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