Sir Ernest Shackleton´s Survival in the Antarctic Essay

Sir Ernest Shackleton´s Survival in the Antarctic Essay

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For an exemplary leader, what is one of the highest compliments that you could ever receive? Sir Ernest Shackleton was a British explorer who–after failing to reach the Southern Pole first–wanted to be the first to ever accomplish a trans–Antarctic expedition. On October 27th, 1915 Shackleton’s boat–the Endurance–was crushed by the pressure of the melting Antarctic ice; leaving Shackleton and his crew stranded in the Antarctic. On August 30th, 1916 after a treacherous one and a half years of living in the Antarctic and surrounding islands, Shackleton and his crew were rescued following an unimaginable story of survival. The qualities of leadership Shackleton exhibited that resulted in the survival of him and his crew were, having certain obsessions, not being selfish, and always thinking about future consequences from his actions.

A person who is selfless, is someone who puts others emotions and/or well being ahead of their own. For Shackleton, the quality of being selfless was key for the survival of Endurance’s crew because, it kept all of the crew feeling equal and that the crew could trust Shackleton with their lives. An example of how Shackleton was a selfless person was, he gave up personal items such as his gold lighter and his bible (given to him by the Queen). By being first to rid himself of non-necessary items, Shackleton showed the crew–even though Shackleton was the boss–that they are all equals. And by acting as equals, Shackleton prevented a severe case of munity and a lethal dividing of two groups (educated versus workers). Shackleton indicated he cared about his men through hiding his fears to keep spirits positive, and always asking if his men were all right. Shackleton also asked Green–the cook– to add seal ...

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...ok into consideration the value each men had to his mission, and the kind of group dynamics he would or wouldn’t have to deal with. Deliberating over and producing numerous contingencies may seem to be a nuisance, unless those plans help a crew live to complain about it.

It’s easy to be the one in charge; to be a leader, is the hardest skill to master. Shackleton’s actions of selflessness, obsessiveness and planning ability, demonstrates he was in a rare class of ‘leaders’. The ideals of leadership was one area which Shackleton had mastered; accomplishing one’s ambitions was an area in which Shackleton was never able to master. Although completing ambitions can be an exciting story, sometimes failures are a far superior story. “We knew you’d come back”–quoted an unidentified sailor–was the highest compliment ever paid to Sir Ernest Shackleton–an exemplary leader.

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