What Shackleton Taught Me

Notes from a great explorer and leader:

  1. Learn from all leaders. During his first expedition to Antarctica, Shackleton learned that a leader needs to be decisive, confident, and focused on the mission.
  2. Look after your team, for you can only go as far as your team. In his second expedition (Nimrod), he gave up glory and fame when he realized his team was too weak to get to the South Pole and back.
  3. Hire for attitude. When the mission involves great difficulty, attitude is the glue that holds it together.
  4. Keep your team engaged. At all times, but especially in times of crisis, managing the energy, outlook, engagement and cohesion of your team is critical for success.
  5. Re-adjust your plan when the situation changes. When the Endurance sank, he had to readjust to a change in mission. His focus shifted toward ensuring a safe return for his team.
  6. Never lose perspective. Shackleton handled daily management and leadership of the team with ease, keeping the team engaged, managing potential disruptors and reflecting regularly.
  7. Care for your team. He took responsibility for the ship sinking, was always thinking forward, and remained very humane in his leadership.

“If you’re a leader, a fellow that other fellows look to, you’ve got to keep going.” Sir Ernest Shackleton.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: