Shackleton’s Way: Analysis & Review
Weber State University
Shackleton’s Way: Analysis & Review
Unfortunately, I missed the opportunity to participate in the group discussion in person on the day we were on campus. I have since emailed both particpants in my group, Anna Guzman and Tara Rhodes, who both responded promptly that everyone was submitting short answers to the questions in our discussion group, to compare and analyze. I have since compared and reviewed their answers with mine and we have similar opinions on Shackleton’s leadership traits, the meaning of the great achievement of failure to us all seemed to be that his greatest achievement was successfully keeping his team of men alive for two years. Not only did he keep them alive, they were for the most part happy and positive until the end. I think we also all agreed that leading by example was the greatest motivator he gave to his team. People are more likely to do what you ask if they see you alongside of them working just as hard. Learning about Shackleton has been one of the most enjoyable parts of my BSN education and I look forward to researching and learning more about him.
Shackleton possessed many leadership traits that I am still in awe of after reading this book. He was thoughtful, organized, determined, and passionate to name a few. The trait that stands out the most that sets him apart is flexibility. He planned for months, even years everything that he could possibly need to make his expedition a success. He meticulously and tirelessly hand-picked every member of that expedition, tools, equipment, food, and supplies to ensure that he was going to accomplish his goal of reaching the South Pole. Yet, after all of that and coming within one days reach of their destination and realizing that he wasn’t going to make it, he didn’t dwell on it, he didn’t show disappointment, despair, or anger. He was “flexible” in knowing that at that point the most important thing to him was keeping his men, safe, healthy, and in good spirits. He didn’t let anyone else dwell on the fact that they were stuck and the future for them was unknown. He created an environment that they did very well in and some even said they forgot the fact that they were stranded in the middle of nowhere because he gave them such a strong sense of security and optimism that they could make it through anything, and they did. Conflict Management & Collaboration
From the very beginning Shackleton did not throw around the fact that he was the leader and that what he said went. He was genuinely interested in everyone’s thoughts and ideas in regard to the challenge that they were about to set out on. After Endurance had set off, Shackleton still wasn’t aboard the ship and was later going to board. When the ship was docked in Buenos Aires, instead of immediately going on and dealing with all of the conflicts that arose in his absence, he stayed at a distance and observed the interactions of the crew and watched to see who needed to be weeded out before they officially started on their journey. It was said that one of the mistakes that he made on Nimrod was that he never fired anyone even though he should have. He wasn’t going to make that mistake this time. By the time they left Buenos Aires he had let go of four men and made arrangements for them to go back to England. Surprisingly, conflict management among the men he worked with was very little. He laid a foundation of structure, positivity, and equality that made everyone feel valued and important. The book mentions, “Shackleton rotated work assignments so that over time, each man worked alongside all the others, blurring division” (Morrell & Capparell, 2002). Because of this blurring of divisions of the men, they were a team and even though Shackleton carried the burden of being the leader, this created an environment of openness where collaboration was possible and opinions and ideas...
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