1 year ago


The Shackleton

The Shackleton Expedition -­‐ Epilogue Shackleton led the men to safety and then went back to rescue the others. Every single man survived. Every single one. And they all believed it was because of his leadership. Shackleton kept his team together. He ignored class boundaries and made everyone equal. He kept everyone busy. He made them play football and sing songs. He was positive. He was decisive. He focused on the things he could control. Despite setback after setback, disaster after disaster, danger after danger, Shackleton never gave up. It was like the worst disaster movie with the meanest scriptwriter in existence. But Shackleton kept going and going and going, refusing to quit. Once the Endurance becme stranded, Shackleton knew that each day, his presence had huge impact on the men’s mind-­‐sets. He managed his own emotional intelligence — to use a modern term — to keep his own courage and confidence high; when these flagged, he never let his men know. Just as important, Shackleton kept his men’s focus on the future. The ship was gone; previous plans were irrelevant. Now his goal was to bring the team home safely, and he improvised, adapted and used every resource at hand to achieve it. SET against a myriad of misfortune and mistakes is Shackleton’s behavior after the Endurance was trapped. Once he relinquished his first mission, to walk across Antarctica, and embraced the second, to bring all 28 men home safely, his leadership became much more effective. Shackleton assumed ultimate responsibility for his team. Perhaps he recognized that he was partly to blame for the crisis that befell the Endurance. Perhaps his naval training instilled in him a deep sense of loyalty and obligation to his fellow crew members. The men themselves understood this, and most, in turn, offered him their commitment. Shackleton devoted himself to a worthy goal. “Shackleton’s team knew that whatever came before them on the ice, their leader would give his all to bring them home alive,” she said. This knowledge, she added, “was crucial to achieving the mission, and this commitment is key today when so much is changing so fast.” Shackleton’s sense of responsibility and commitment came with a great suppleness of means. To get his men home safely, he led them across ice, sea and land with all the tools he could muster/ 2017 Navigator Leadership Institute Participant Manual Page 21

The Shackleton Expedition – Reflection Questions 1. How does relate to our work at Navigator? 2. What does Shackleton teach us about effective leadership? 3. How can you apply the lessons we have learned from Shackleton to your own journey? 2017 Navigator Leadership Institute Participant Manual Page 22

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