Real Leaders: Ernest Shackleton Leads a Harrowing Expedition
BLUFShackleton’s disastrous Antarctica expedition provides a dramatic example of exceptional leadership.
Ernest Shackleton provides the world with arguably one of the greatest examples of leadership, even though he failed the mission. For two years he kept his crew of 27 men alive on a drifting ice cap, then led them in their escape over impossible seas in ill-equipped boats, before crossing inhospitable mountain ranges. Analysing Shackleton’s leadership during the struggle to survive the authors discuss how he learnt from previous mistakes; he had the foresight to hire his team for attitude and trained them for skill; and he quickly defocused from the task when they reached an impossible situation and concentrated on other goals. He refocussed the team by harnessing their energy, created stability and routine and gave them a sense of security under his command. Could Shackleton's approach work with today's challenges?