Christopher Schrader's avatar image.

CEO @, on-demand learning for enterprise. Harvard 2016

My name is Christopher Schrader, I cofounded The Graduate, using applied Artificial Intelligence to help students connect with personalized tutors.

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  • What's the biggest lesson you've learned when you put up Endurance Limited?

    Any key things that you remember from that experience?

    Christopher Schrader's avatar image.

    I think Endurance Limited was (and is) an incredible experience.

    A few key takeaways:

    Being elite sometimes makes you more attractive. From Day 1 we set out to create highly selective, highly ambitious expeditions. This was in part for legal reasons - these expeditions were going to be tough and we could only afford to have the fittest and most mentally committed young people. That being said, there were people that participated on selection weekends we still turned down. This was again, because we were very focused on an excellent experience for a few people. I was worried that people who didn't get in would be upset, however, this wasn't the case. The experience of the weekend just on it's own was a huge milestone to our participants - they were proud of getting through it.

    Trust other people. Up until Endurance, I really relied on myself to get things done. However, Endurance was the first experience where I deferred most of the important decision making to Sam (Operations Manager) and Royi (Head of Training). These two individuals had far more experience and expertise in their fields than I did. They made better decisions, faster. I think that was a hugely important lesson in my life - learn to trust other people with responsibility. I learnt that the boss really means letting smart people make good decisions.

    Finally, I learnt that the most important aspect of an expedition are the team dynamics. You are as fast as your slowest member, and when you are trekking for over a month at altitude, it's critical that your team gets along and supports each other.