The greatest team in the world is not a group of people on a sports team, a business team or a professional association. In fact, it’s not a team of people at all.
“Actually, to see this team in action, you have to travel very far. They are the emperor penguins who live in Antarctica, the true miracle on ice,” said Antarctic Mike, author of the new book “The Penguin Principle: A Little Story About True Teamwork” ( Indie Books International, 2015).
Perhaps you witnessed these magnificent creatures in the 2005 Academy Award-winning movie, “March of the Penguins.” With narration by Morgan Freeman, the film is a look at the annual journey of emperor penguins as they march—single file—to their traditional breeding ground.
“In my trips to Antarctica I have had the privilege to observe these amazing birds that I call the world’s best performing team in the worst conditions on earth,” said Antarctic Mike.
“But how did it all begin? This book is a little fable with an important message for every organization in the world,” said Antarctic Mike. “These penguins have as much to teach us about being a great team as any group that exists in the world.”
In January 2006, Antarctic Mike became one of nine people to have run a marathon on the Antarctic continent. Eleven months later he returned to Antarctica to become the first American to complete the Antarctica Ultra Marathon, a grueling 100 kilometers (62.1 miles).
Since then Antarctic Mike has completed many other winter marathons in the coldest and harshest climates on earth. His stories have been featured in Sports Illustrated and on CNN, Fox, ABC, CBS, ESPN and many other national and international media outlets.
The book shares ten teamwork gifts any team can receive from the example of the emperor penguins:
1. The gift of meaningful purpose
2. The gift of embracing the unknown
3. The gift of collective commitment
4. The gift of unbreakable trust
5. The gift of serious sacrifice
6. The gift of consistent activity
7. The gift of active listening
8. The gift of creative innovation
9. The gift of a true tribe
10. The gift of lasting legacy
Antarctic Mike has a 20-year background in the recruiting business, where he helped many companies find great employees. Now he spends most of his time helping companies engage and retain great employees through his speeches, workshops and consulting.