Earnest Shackleton: Moral Challenge
Earnest Shackleton, leader of the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition showed great moral leadership in the choosing, leading and ultimate saving of his crew of 27 men. Shackleton led his men with strength and respect. He had a great ability to showcase the strength of individual men, while leading them as a team. In choosing his crew, he not only looked at the work that they would do, but also how they would interact with the rest of the men. In the most trying of circumstances. Once it became apparent that the original goal of the mission was lost, Shackleton kept his crew working together towards the common goal of survival. Shackleton shows great leadership using six fundamental leadership traits: “Planning, Team Building, Flexibility, Communication, Conflict Resolution, and Lead by Example.” (Harris 21) Even as a child, Shackleton was seen as both a strong leader and an empathetic friend. A classmate recalled that Shackleton had “beaten up a schoolyard bully who had been picking on a smaller boy. From an early age, Shackleton gravitated to the role of protector, stepping up to the front to insist on fair play.” (Morrell and Capparell, 17) Shackleton has a history of putting his men above the goal. In 1907, he was 97 miles from the South Pole when he turned back in order to return his party safely back to the ship. This ability to both lead and protect would prove to be invaluable in the Trans-Antarctic expedition. Shackleton plans his expedition carefully. He is aware of the environment and conditions, having been on expeditions in the Antarctic and to the South Pole in the past. He overstocks on provisions to keep his men fed and stimulated. There was food, books, music and the best equipment available at the time, including rations to prevent scurvy and specially designed tents. Shackleton only takes risks when necessary and when lives were at stake. "He often referred to himself as “Old Cautious” and took...
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