Leadership Analysis Based on Shackleton

Topics: Leadership, Ernest Shackleton, South Pole Pages: 10 (3618 words) Published: December 2, 2012
I. Introduction

Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton, a British explore, was born in Kilkee, County Kildare, Ireland on February 15th, 1874. His family moved to London when he was 10 years old. At the age of 16, he dropped out from school to join the Merchant Marines, the youngest age to join the service at time. In 1898, Shackleton became a qualified master and a sub-lieutenant in the Royal Naval Reserve in 1901. Yearning for adventure and fame, in 1901 he applied for a position in Robert Falcon Scott's Discovery expedition to the Antarctic. Unfortunately, in 1904, he was sent back home due to his health problem. With the strong desire of adventure and reputation, Shackleton amended his failure by returning to Antarctica as a leader of Nimrod Expedition in 1907. His purposes were to explore the Ross Shelf Ice and the south magnetic pole. The journey was a success with his discovery of Beardmore Glacier on the Antarctic Plateau on January 09, 1909. On his comeback, Shackleton received many honors and awards for the successful expedition. (Wikipedia) The “real” journey of Shackleton began on August 1st, 1914 where he went along with his 27 crew members, left London for South Georgia in the purpose to complete the trans-Antarctic expedition – the ship was called “The Endurance”. On 24th February, 1915, the Endurance got stuck in the ice park, crushed by the ice and was finally sunk under the ice in the same year on 21st November. Regardless to the shortage of foods, supplies, no communication equipments, plus the unbearable cold winter, Shackleton and his crew never gave up hope. On May 19th 1916, Shackleton and his two other crews – Worsley and Crean – crossed South Georgia in search of the whaling stations on the east-coast. They went on foot for 36 hours over the Glacier Mountains and at last arrived at Stromness whaling station. All the 27 men were amazingly able to return in good spirit after almost two years they were stranded in the Antarctic. (Timeline) After World War I in 1921, Shackleton returned to the Antarctic and led another expedition with John Quiller Rowett to examine Enderby Land. However, Shackleton died from angina pectoris on January 5, 1922. Followed by the request from his wife, Emily Mary Dorman, Shackleton was buried at Grytviken, South Georgia, leaving 3 children at the time of his death. (Encyclopedia) This report shows various concepts related to Ernest Shackleton’s leadership style in the success accomplishment of the expedition including the traits, behaviors, the contingency and what it takes to make Shackleton become such a great leader.

II. The Concepts

* Chapter 1 – What does it means to be a leader?
The concept of being a leader has been carried through times. With a capable leader comes great success. As this is one of many theories studied by numerous aspects, ranging from history, philosophy and the scientific perspective of approach. There are several distinctive measures that we can use to define the complexity of leadership. Often confusing, people nowadays who are not extensively equipped with the knowledge may misunderstand the differences between being a manager and a leader. In the case of Ernest Shackleton and his ability he demonstrated, we can say that he is a great leader with essential manager’s skill set that had made him who he is known for today. If we are to look at Ernest Shackleton’s journey similarly to an organization, with reaching the North Pole as the company’s main objective, we can judge and evaluate his performance based on how far the goal has been completed. Shackleton was a great leader in such ways that he created a compelling image both for himself and his crews. This comes from main his passion and love for adventure that has thrived his goals all his life. While being such a leader, he is also a capable manager. A vision alone did not help Shackleton in reaching his goal. Through being prepared and equipped with great experiences that he...
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