What makes a good expedition leader?

When it comes to adventure, an expedition tends to be a journey undertaken by a team with a particular purpose or goal, like rowing an ocean.

Depending on the expedition, the leader may have several responsibilities including raising the necessary funds, attracting, and selecting a team, selecting and acquiring the equipment, and of course leading the team on the expedition itself.

A good leader benefits from a range of skills, including confidence and self-belief, integrity, experience, and good management skills. The expedition and the leaders chances of success are improved if they have a good team and embrace its collective experience and skill set.


Do all successful expeditions leaders have all these skills? Not always. Expedition leaders can, of course, achieve their expeditions core goal with limited funds, poor project management, and a dysfunctional team, by riding their luck and with dogged determination.

But it is best to avoid joining expeditions where the leader doesn’t have the preferred skill set. At the end of the day, you want to be part of a successful expedition where the team pulled together and achieved the common goal, enabling them to look back with fond memories on a job well done. The type of feeling felt by a successful Lions tourist.

It is also worth avoiding the charlatans out there with their bonhomie, happy to take your money to fund their own dreams and keep their businesses afloat. Those who don’t understand legal or moral responsibilities.

When considering joining expeditions look out for good leaders, those with experience and a track record of success, those with integrity and good people skills. In particular, do some due diligence on the expedition and its leader before joining and take your time making your decision to take part. 

Don’t let your enthusiasm cloud your judgment.