'LEADERSHIP CAN ONLY BE LEARNED IN THE CRUCIBLE OF LIFE' Leader: First Australian Arctic expedition, East Greenland Leader: First British-Australian exploration cruise, Arctic Director: Australian Bicentenary Tall Ships spectacular Leader: First northerly sea kayak crossing, Bass Strait Leader: First Australian Expedition, West Greenland Chief Leader: ANZSES Expedition, Granite Mountain Co-leader: First exploration, Quail Creek, Kimberley Team: First sea kayak circumnavigation, Tasmania


"Earle de Blonville is a great, but unsung, Australian hero, courageous, strong, confident, and with outstanding leadership qualifications."
- Professor The Hon. Barry Jones, PhD. AC. FAA. FAHA. FASSA. FTSE. FACE. FRSV. DistFRSN

Australian Minister for Science 1983-90


Arctic explorer.
Acclaimed author
Doctoral Researcher
Founder: Postformal Leadership System

Bespoke Leadership Coach & Consultant
For C-Suite Executives, Entrepreneurs, & Senior Professionals

My leadership philosophy draws on knowledge gained in the hardest possible way - expeditions in the wilderness where I have been close to death many times and have probably made every leadership mistake possible. Insight gained in the crucible of life is the only way to really know yourself as a Leader.

As a practitioner, I offer highly personalised leadership coaching, suited to the unique and individual needs of senior professionals and entrepreneurs who daily face the unexpected, and are called forth into uncertainty.

The exciting new field of Postformal Leadership emerged from my PhD research in 2013, and draws on 40 years of work by Harvard research psychologists focussed on higher adult development. My practice draws on 40 years of personal experience, including field leadership (Arctic, Himalaya, Kimberley), major event leadership (Tall Ships, Great Mountain Race), corporate consulting, executive education development and C-Suite leadership coaching.

My book 'Savage Coast - inside Australia's first Arctic expedition' provides a brutally honest view of leadership in action, with a range of examples of multi-layered challenges in times of great uncertainty. It reveals how every leadership challenge is both unexpected and unique in almost every way, or episodic and granular, affecting people in very different ways, and it serves as a leadership primer for the challenges facing the world in today's pandemic and political uncertainty. Reviews elsewhere on this site.

'Savage Coast':
Internationally released, one-hour television documentary film.
Screened on Discovery, CBC, BBC, ABC, plus Europe, South America, Israel, South Africa.
View trailer: 'Savage Coast' - https://vimeo.com/232723180.

'Savage Coast: Inside Australia’s first Arctic expedition'
Valuable insights into extreme leadership challenges
Buy: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B01KQ6PMIW

Fellow, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Spain
Adjunct Professional Fellow, SCU, NSW, Australia
Fellow, Royal Geographical Society, UK

Queen Elisabeth II Silver Jubilee Trust Award
Olegas Truchanas Expedition Canoeing Award

Leadership Philosophy: - Coaching - Masterclasses - Executive Programs For: - Enterprises - Professionals - Entrepreneurs My unique Postformal Leadership Expedition program can be tailored for individual clients. My approach draws on: - 40 years professional experience - Extreme Field Expedition Leadership - C-Suite Leadership Coaching - Ongoing Doctoral research Plus 40 years of academic work in Higher Adult Development by Harvard research psychologists Contact: DEBLONVILLE@GMAIL.COM


“Leadership cannot be taught in a classroom, it can only be learned in the crucible of life.” - Drew Hansen, Forbes.

Our world faces the greatest challenges to survival since the start of the last Ice Age, nearly three million years ago.

Our futures, as individuals, communities, and as a species, depend on a radical new approach to Leadership that equips us to face the unexpected, where business and politics is increasingly governed by climate crisis.   

Over the last 20 years my clients have typically been C-Suite executives and entrepreneurs who have faced problems as their careers, businesses and personal growth encountered unexpected challenges. Now the world itself faces the existential challenge of survival, engaging us all at every level.

My approach to Leadership development draws on extensive field Leadership experience, including remote and dangerous expeditions where life and death decisions had to be made; corporate consulting where careers and lives have often dramatically changed; and ongoing Doctoral research which has developed the exciting new field of Postformal Leadership.

This totally new Postformal approach to Leadership is based on higher adult development qualities that have been discovered by Harvard research psychologists working in this field for over 40 years. These qualities help identify Leaders who are able to create stronger, courageous and intelligent human-centred futures for all, because Leadership is never about the Leader.

What Life throws at us is almost always a surprise. So developing our inner strength, wisdom and character in order to embrace uncertainty translates into the potential for great Leadership. 



Postformal: The Future of Leadership

Learn More






 “This book is a powerful account of an expedition that Earle de Blonville led to East Greenland in 1985-86. Australia has had a long involvement in Antarctica, and the achievements of Douglas Mawson and Phillip Law are widely recognised. However, with the exception of the controversial Hubert Wilkins, there has been little Australian involvement with the Arctic. When Earle began planning his expedition he set up an Australian Advisory Panel, which included Dr Phillip Law, Dame Elisabeth Murdoch, Sir John Holland, John Bertrand and Dr Eleanor Rymill, for whom his vessel was named. As Australia’s then Minister for Science I was happy to join, and secured Government recognition and assistance. Earle also recruited support from Britain, where his patrons included The Prince of Wales, Lord Shackleton – son of the great Ernest – and the polar explorer Sir Vivian Fuchs. This is a powerful story of privation, courage, obstinacy and tenacity, full of sharp insights, vividly written, well illustrated with useful maps – an unvarnished record of a major achievement. The expedition took place in 1985-86, but the story, with its freshness and immediacy, is timeless, demonstrating what charismatic leadership can achieve, against all odds."

Professor the Hon. Barry Jones AC FAAAustralian Minister for Science 1983-90

 “This is a brilliant, beautifully written testimony to the resilience of the human spirit. The book tells Earle de Blonville’s own story as the leader of Australia’s first expedition to the Arctic in 1985-86. It illustrates the power of one man’s vision and the courage of the author and his men to rise above extreme adversity to carry it out. Earle has crafted a multi-layered narrative, splicing together self-critical—at times hilarious—reflections on his own leadership with the excitement, vitality and extreme danger of young men kayaking and sailing in wild seas of Arctic ice. It offers rare glimpses into the extraordinary weight of responsibility he shouldered together with a boatload of philosophical nuggets. Yet what most inspired me to read on was a barely articulated compassion for humanity and growing wisdom that infused Earle’s decisions and actions, shaping his leadership character as he journeyed. This book should appeal to anyone seeking to chart a course for themselves or their organization in the rapidly changing uncharted landscape and uncertain futures of our fragile planet. Given the high incidence of suicide and violence among young Australian males, Earle offers an inspiring role model—so urgently needed today. This book should be recommended reading on the new Australian National High School Curriculum and in youth detention centres, globally."

Professor Jennifer M Gidley, PhDPresident, World Futures Studies Federation (UNESCO Partner)

 “If there was a golden age of Australian adventuring, it was the late 20th century. From the 60s to the 90s there was a palpable spirit of possibility, an alchemy with our affinity for wilderness and an almost nation-defining pride in the Big Crazy Undertaking. Earle de Blonville was a part of this mix, from the time of his solo sea kayak baptism at the age of 11 through a paddling circumnavigation of Tasmania that no one thought possible. Fast forward past countless other Big Adventurous Ideas, to the primary subject of this tome, Earle’s seventh major kayak expedition tracking the 1000km, 1930s Arctic route of British Arctic explorer Gino Watkins who disappeared in Greenland. Gino was the inspiration for this 1986 expedition. Earle’s inspired writing and willingness to go into dark, ego-busting territory has us gripped, as his expedition goes from ambitious to haphazard to downright foolhardy. It provides fertile environment for Earle to peer into the mirror and contemplate – what makes an adventurer? What makes a leader? This is exploration of the explorer as much as of the expedition."

Chris OrdEditor: Outer Edge Magazine