Leadership and Life’s Greatest Lessons Atop The World’s Highest Mountains with Alison Levine


She came from a “tough love sort of family.

She said, “it feels like there is an elephant on my chest.” But they always told her, “toughen up.”

At age 16 she passed out during soccer practice.  While at the hospital they learned that she suffered from a rare heart condition.

Three surgeries later, she climbed to the peaks of the highest mountains on every continent and skied the North and South Pole.

This week on the School of Greatness, we have an amazing athlete, adventurer, professor of leadership and New York Times Bestselling author on the show.  Please welcome the inspiring Alison Levine.

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The School of Greatness Podcast

Alison Levine on the School of Greatness with Lewis Howes

“Count on me” – The Mantra of Alison Levine

In This Episode, You Will Learn:

  • About The Adventure Grand Slam:
  1. The Seven Summits – Tallest Mountains on Seven Continents
  2. The North and South Pole – Skiing to the Ends of the Earth
  • The amazing story of how health problems inspired her greatness
  • How to overcome heart surgery like a champion
  • Why Mike Krzyzewski seeks out big ego players for the USA Olympic Basketball team
  • How to identify and build teams around Performance Ego and Team Ego
  • Conversations about failure with Pete Dawkins
  • Differentiating those willing to fail from those who simply under perform
  • How the acclimatization process of scaling Mt. Everest is a metaphor for succeeding at anything
  • Why Alison sees power in practicing sleep deprivation (Sleep defender? Listen to Ameer)
  • How to simulate extreme conditions to prepare for uncanny adventure
  • Lessons learned from Kilimanjaro
  • Wolf Parkinson White Syndrome and recovering from 3 heart surgeries
  • Unbelievable stories of near death experiences
  • About the importance of team dynamics in physically demanding environments
  • What she realized at the top of Mt. Everest
  • Plus much more…

Continue Seeking Greatness:

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  • Music Credit: 1950 – The Robot Dentist & Big Sandz

Did you enjoy the podcast?

What’s the biggest lesson you learned from Alison’s unique leadership style?  Share your thoughts in the comments section below and share with us what resonates with you (or doesn’t resonate with you) the most.  If you enjoyed this, please share it with your friends on Twitter, Facebook or send it to someone you care about via email. 

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I love all of your interviews but this one with Alison was amazing.  I loved her analogy of the treks down the mountain and on failure.  I will definitely be sharing this one and listening to it again with my 11 year old daughter who is a national elite level gymnast.


Lewis this was by far and away the best episode yet. Alison's stories are incredible but the way she tells then and so clearly on every detail of her journey and adventures is what had me captivated.

I can't believe she only started climbing and getting into this at 30! Super inspiring. Thank you for having her on.


Alison,  I was born in Colombia, my dad was very poor and have  twelve sibilants, from a small town call San-Gil, in Santander Colombia, when he was 9 years old, he have to make a decision, because there were passing hungry  and move to the capital, by himself, my Nona ( grand mother) give him a piece bread, bless him in Jesus name and left him at the bus with instructions to the driver, he travel to a "the big freezer" (bogota use to be really cool) and the guy from the bus, say this one is the street 13 with 10; just imagine a nine year old, no money, no education, no plan and a lot of faith, he look the address of one of his uncles who have a furniture factory, and knock the door, and uncle Horacio say.  Are you! Here?,are you crazy? he start cleaning the factory and when he was 16 years old he have his own factory with 40 employees, this is the entrepreneur spirit!, I love my dad and I very proud of him, he teach me that 99% of obstacles are in your believes. 


Wow! This must be one of the best episodes I've ever heard!

Lewis, thanks for bringing great people and thanks Alison for sharing your story, amazing!

Eileen lonergan
Eileen lonergan

I loved this podcast and I LOVED the book.  I can count on Lewis to deliver a great podcast and I can count on Alison to always inspire!  Thank you both.

Maura McGovern
Maura McGovern

thank you, thank you! every morning i run harder or faster or more playful because of your talks with these Alive humans. with an inspired heart !!


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