Dennis Perkins

Dennis Perkins, PhD

Leadership at the Edge
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Program Descriptions

Leadership at The Edge: The Shackleton Saga
The Leadership at The Edge presentation recounts the saga of legendary Antarctic explorer, Ernest Shackleton.

Teamwork at The Edge: The Midnight Rambler Story
The Teamwork at The Edge presentation tells the contemporary story of the AFR Midnight Rambler, winners of the treacherous 1998 Sydney to Hobart race.


Biography Read more

Dennis Perkins is Chief Executive Officer of The Syncretics Group, a consulting firm devoted to effective leadership in demanding environments—especially those characterized by uncertainty, ambiguity, and rapid change.

Dr. Perkins has worked for over twenty-five years as an advisor to senior leaders in organizations ranging from Fortune 100 corporations to nonprofit associations. A graduate of the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, he served as a Marine infantry officer in Vietnam. He subsequently received his MBA from Harvard University, and a Ph.D. in psychology at The University of Michigan. While a faculty member at the Yale University School of Management, he developed a breakthrough leadership approach based on the study of groups facing The Edge — the outer limits of human endurance. By studying The Edge, Dr. Perkins believes, “leaders can learn what it takes to help their organizations achieve their greatest potential. And they can remember these principles when they are stretched, stressed, and challenged to the limit.”

Dr. Perkins’ passion to understand The Edge has taken him to disparate places — to Antarctica, where he retraced the footsteps of famed explorer, Ernest Shackleton; and to Australia, where he sailed with the crew of the Midnight Rambler, winners of the challenging 1998 Sydney to Hobart Race. He subsequently completed the 700-mile race, often called “the Everest” of offshore racing, as a crew member on a Volvo 60 racing boat.

Dr. Perkins has written extensively on leadership and organizational effectiveness. He is the author of Leading at the Edge: Leadership Lessons from the Extraordinary Saga of Shackleton’s Antarctic Expedition; Racing through the Storm: Building Exceptional Teams in Extraordinary Times; Using the Power of Resonant Metaphor to Increase Leadership Effectiveness; and Into the Storm: Lessons in Teamwork from the Treacherous Sydney to Hobart Ocean Race.

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