Before leadership was a science there were Shackleton


Tue 31 Jul 2018

After participating in a number of Antarctic expeditions, Sir Ernest Shackleton set out in 1914 with the intent of crossing the Antarctic. Unfortunately, Shackleton found his ship, along with its crew and stores wedged in the Antarctic ice in January 1915. For nearly two years they survived sub-zero conditions, the slow loss of their ship as it was crushed and sank, to then live on the ice flow until it broke up and forced them into their 3 lifeboats. They navigated their way to nearby Elephant Island to set up camp and plot their next move. As the world did not know their plight and no one was coming to rescue, Shackleton set off on a 1000 plus km open boat sail to South Georgia and the whaling station there to get help. Landing on the Western side of the island, Shackleton and 2 others scaled icy peaks to eventually present themselves to a very surprised Norwegian whaler who was supposed to have wept at the sight of them.

Shackleton then organised the rescue of the balance of the crew.

Everyone survived.

If you are looking for an inspiring story of leadership and survival, along with some embedded lessons, I have to recommend "Shackleton's Way
Leadership Lessons from the Great Antarctic Explorer" by Stephanie Capparell and Margot Morrell.

It's a well-researched account with plenty of points for leadership that are indelibly true and valuable today.


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