These are few of the main reasons that lead to the tragedy, although we come across many mistakes the root cause of the tragedy will have to be the leadership and decision- making abilities of the experienced leaders who unfortunately both died in the tragedy.
Leading a team requires more than just an ability to make decisions. To be a strong leader, you need to possess an awareness of how people click into a team, what your team is capable of, and sense if there is an occurrence that could result into a serious problem later on.
Moreover you should know in which cases your decision-making and leadership abilities might be questioned, so that you can prevent any possible tragedy/catastrophe. From my point of view in this case the decision- making that the two leaders were implying were somehow based upon some irrational judgment in crucial moments that eventually led to tragedy.
On the other hand the teams were not synchronized properly as well. Team members did not feel loyalty among each other, they lacked communication, they were often prevailed by an highlighted sense of selfishness during crucial moments and they were left with no space to express their thoughts and opinions at all (by their leaders) .
“ In climbing having the confidence in your partners is no small concern. One climber’s actions can affect the welfare of the entire team..” (Krakauer, 1997, p.47.)As already stated above it is clear that there were done many mistakes in the process of the leadership application by Hall and Fischer during the Everest expedition in 1996.
Hall and Fischer happen to be strong leaders. The main issue with their characters is their strong sense of self -confidence which clashed with the certain issues in the story and led to the tragedy. They both failed to set a good role model for their followers and failed to balance their position in the team with the prevailing situation. The extreme ego-centrism that they projected all the time prevented them from making the apropriate decisions and prevented them from receiving feedbacks from people around them.
Hall on one hand showed his confidence by claiming that “he could get almost any reasonably fit person to the summit”, he was also convincing everybody that his directions should be treated as an “absolute law” which then deprived his followers to confess they views and knowledge on certain occasions. Openness of team members was also restricted due to Hall’s strong sense of control which, in turn, made other team members feel reluctant in terms of undertaking initiatives that would boost the overall performance.
Fischer on the other hand was convinced that every error is man- made and that he will make the absolute right- choices which leads to his team being unable to give any feedback or offer their help. As we see in the Mount Everest case, insufficient debate among team members and professionals can lower the scale to which suggestions and proposals are taken into consideration, ideas remain unchallenged, and lucrative alternatives are not being born.
However when leaders arrive at a crucial decision making moments it is important that everyone accepts the eventual outcome and supports respective implementation. In teams nobody should allow continued dissension and disruption of certain efforts to turn decisions into actions.
The Everest case purely demonstrates how self-centered leaders and their decisions affect the perceptions and beliefs of their team members, and also affect how these individuals interact with one another in certain situations. Hall and Fischer mainly made the choices about how the teams will be structured and that had an enormous impact on people’s perceptions of their roles, status, and relationships with other climbers. Namely, these perceptions and beliefs induced the path that people would behave in situations where the groups encountered serious obstacles and dangers.
From this case study I can conclude that setting clear goals and conveying to everybody the guidelines and rules to reach the respective goal is key to success. On the other hand, proper evaluation and measurement of different factors can have a crucial effect on team-works. Listening to team members and then planning thoroughly a common strategy is also very important.
Having a back up plan for every kind of ad-hoc situation is of a vital importance, responsibility for oneself is a reflecting element in team-works as it can result into better overall performance/safety of the team and lastly ensuring all the appropriate equipment is an inevitable part of any commercial activity anywhere in the world.
To sum up in the business world today, the analysis of the Mount Everest 1996 case provides a benchmark for comprehending, diagnosing, and preventing fiascos in many types of organizations. It also has a crucial role in understanding the importance of how leaders can shape and administer the processes through which their organizations make and implement appropriate decisions. It insinuates that leaders must be cautious when balancing the pressures in their organizations, and pictures how their words and actions can shape the perceptions and beliefs of common members.