Overview of Ernest Shackleton's Theory of Leadership

1861 Words Feb 7th, 2018 7 Pages
Ernest Shackleton, acting as captain of the Endurance, demonstrated incredible leadership. There were several elements. The first is that he provided inspiration, even during difficult times. The crew faced numerous challenges while it was trapped in the ice, and on Elephant Island. During these challenges, Shackleton was able to provide inspirational leadership that kept the spirits of the crew member up. This was important, because negative morale in a life or death situation usually means death. So Shackleton's ability to provide positive morale was critical to the survival of him and his crew.
Shackleton also demonstrated that he was a pragmatic leader, capable of determining a vision and then executing that vision. In a sense, the vision was simple to get everybody home alive. Even that however was a big step, because many leaders would have simply accepted the idea that some sacrifices would have to be made. Shackleton instead determined that his vision would be something that the entire crew could buy into, and that with this buy-in he would be able to undertake the necessary tactical steps to ensure success. This can be seen for example with the trip to Elephant Island. This was risky, because of the conditions and also the fact that Elephant Island has no resources. However, there were a number of tough choices to be made from the point when the Endurance became stuck in the ice, and Shackleton made those choices. He never wavered from the fact that his…
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