Explore 005: Leadership, Teamwork and Competence

The fifth episode of our specialist series, Explore: How To Plan An Expedition, focuses on leadership, teamwork, and competence. In this episode, Matt speaks with Lucy Shepherd, James Dyer, and Emily Penn about different leadership styles, what being a 'leader' involves, and the responsibilities that come with it. They also discuss female leadership, teamwork, the importance of showcasing vulnerability, and ultimately, if you have to be born a leader or if you can learn to become one.

Lucy Shepherd has over 10 years of exploration, adventure and expedition experience. In 2020, she led a team of indigenous Amerindians across the Kanuku mountains in the Amazon jungle from South to North, and then went back the following year with them to cross from East to West. She regularly guides expeditions to the Arctic, and has climbed summits in Tajikistan, Alaska, and Chile.

James Dyer is an adventurer, expedition leader, safety advisor and outdoor education practitioner. With a career spanning over 20 years, he has participated in and led expeditions all over the globe, covering all environments from the highest mountains, to the frozen arctic, spending time with indigenous peoples in the jungles of Borneo and the bush of Tanzania, climbing into the canopy of the Peruvian Amazon, canoeing rivers deep in Northern Canada and trekking across the deserts of the Middle East.

Emily Penn is a skipper and ocean advocate. Emily founded eXXpedition - a non-profit organisation which runs pioneering all-female sailing research expeditions at sea and virtual voyages on land to investigate the causes of, and solutions to, ocean plastic pollution. She's sailed the Northwest Passage, been aboard Earthrace for 923 days, and is also the youngest and only female recipient of both the Yachtmaster of the Year and the Seamaster of the Year award.

You can find out more about the Royal Geographical Society and access advice and support for field research and scientific expeditions by visiting www.rgs.org/in-the-field or follow them on @rgs_ibg on socials.

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