The principles that bind people together in the natural world work just as well in cities, companies, and communities. Nowhere is this seen more clearly than through Outward Bound USA’s education programs, which puts strangers in unfamiliar and unpredictable settings, where to succeed they must develop a sense of resilience, self-confidence, teamwork, and a focus on the greater good.

This week, we are honored to launch a book that describes in detail the principles of Outward Bound, told through the stories of former instructors and graduates who show how to apply them to create healthier, more effective teams, organizations, and communities.

Outward Bound Lessons

For nearly six decades, Outward Bound USA’s education programs have shaped the lives of tens of thousands of participants. Strangers are put in an unfamiliar and unpredictable setting, where to succeed they must develop a sense of teamwork, resilience, self-confidence, and a focus on the greater good. But, Mark Brown asks, isn’t the modern world just as unpredictable and challenging as any mountain or desert? He shows how the same principles that bind people together in the natural world work just as well in cities, companies, and communities.

This book explores the concept of Expeditionary Leadership through the stories of people such as third-generation business steward Laura Kohler, the Home Depot cofounder Arthur Blank, and former United States Senator Mark Udall, whose lives were touched by Outward Bound and who then went on to make a positive difference in the world. They show how each of us can, in our own way, use the Outward Bound philosophy to bravely face the wild unknowns in our daily lives.

From training the first Peace Corps volunteers to partnering with thousands of educational institutions and corporations, Outward Bound has helped build the self-confidence and character of participants who have gone on to live richer, more fulfilling, and successful lives. Outward Bound internationally operates in thirty-three countries and impacts nearly a quarter of a million people annually.

Meet the Author

Mark Brown, former participant and instructor in Outward Bound USA’s education programs, believes the modern world is just as unpredictable and challenging as any mountain or desert. He shows how the same principles that bind people together in the natural world work just as well in cities, companies, and communities.

Originally a native of Northeastern Ohio, Mark moved to Naples, Florida, where he worked as a writer and magazine editor. At the age of 25, he decided to attend a 23-day trip to an Outward Bound course in Utah. It was life changing. After taking a temporary job as a van driver for Outward Bound in Minnesota, he helped successfully search for and rescue a teenage boy that had become separated from the group. As a result, Outward Bound asked him to become an instructor ,which began a 22-year working relationship with the organization. He accrued over 1,000 days in the wilderness as an instructor.

Mark eventually relocated to Asheville, NC, and continued his work with the North Carolina Outward Bound School. He trained to be a professional coach and began designing some of the first corporate leadership development programs that Outward Bound offered, blending the wilderness with classroom training and organizational consulting. He also earned a master’s degree in business/entrepreneurship from Western Carolina University, and began serving as a transformational leadership consultant in a variety of industries.

Mark currently lives in Hawaii with his family, where he continues his work as a master coach, consultant and facilitator, helping people and organizations successfully navigate the rapid changes of our modern world. When he’s not working, you’ll most likely find him disappearing down a trail, fishing with his son, or paddling a canoe somewhere. The wilderness always calls!

Praise from Readers Like You

“Outward Bound Lessons is simple, direct, practical, and can be implemented in nearly any setting. The three points – To Serve, To Strive, and Not to Yield are well illustrated by the author with his own experiences and those of others who practice these principles.” —DocMyron, Amazon review

“This book really brings together the story of outward bound but throughout this you also experience many leadership principles as well. I love that this book encourages all of us to be a lifelong learner no matter what. . . . Anyone that wants to learn some solid leadership principles will leave reading this with great ideas for the future.” —Dad of Divas, Amazon review

“I like the term ‘Expeditionary Leader’ that’s used in the book because it suggests good leaders never stop learning and they never stop being a part of the adventure. The book is relatively short, contains real life examples, and unpacks the Outward Bound motto: ‘To serve, to strive, and not to yield.’ Divided into three sections, each point of the motto is expounded upon with real people examples.” —Lisa K, Amazon review

“This book is a call to discover the possibilities of serving, striving and not yielding in ourselves and to set our own sails ‘outward bound.’ Each chapter ends with reflection questions to help the reader reflect and apply the content.” —Leslie, Amazon review

Learn More

  • Visit Amazon to buy a copy of the book or leave a short review of it.
  • Visit the website to learn more about Mark and other expeditionary leaders.
  • Watch the recent webinar to learn more about expeditionary leadership.