Peggy Holtman

Keynote Speaker

Peggy Holtman has over twenty years of experience in the field of leadership development. She specializes in talent management with a focus on leadership assessment and development, executive coaching and team development. She is a contributing author of Leading at the Edge: Leadership Lessons from the Extraordinary Saga of Shackleton’s Antarctic Expedition.

Based on research into a large number of adventure and survival stories, Hotlman’s keynote address will guide participants through Ten Strategies for Success that distinguish leaders who succeed from those who fail.

The Epic Shackleton Expedition

On December 5, 1914, Shackleton and his crew of 27 set out aboard a wooden vessel named Endurance and quickly encountered ice conditions that were unusually harsh. Only 60 miles from Antarctica, Endurance became trapped in pack ice. For 10 months they drifted, locked in the grip of the ice, until the normous pressure crushed the ship.

With limited supplies, the crew was forced to survive on the ice floes, where they were stranded for five more months. When they finally reached open water, they took to three small lifeboats in a hazardous open water journey amidst the jostling icebergs. Five days later, they landed on Elephant Island: a bleak, rocky and uninhabited place due to its remote position. There was no hope of rescue. Shackleton and five others immediately set out in one of the life boats on an incredible 800-mile journey through the world’s worst seas to reach South Georgia Island. Upon reaching their destination, as a final challenge, they had to trek over near impassable terrain to reach the whaling station on the other side of the island. After four separate attempts, Shackleton subsequently rescued all crew members—miraculously, after the 634 day ordeal, no one perished.

Holtman’s keynote presentation will highlight the power of strong leadership in overcoming seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Participants will leave The Shackleton Experience with an invaluable guide for leading at the edge.