Leadership in Crisis: Ernest Shackleton and the Epic Voyage of the Endurance

Topics: Management, Decision making, Risk Pages: 2 (825 words) Published: February 4, 2012
1. What were the underlying causes of the Endurance crisis?
Two major underlying causes of the Endurance Crisis are: A. Bad evaluation of circumstances and stubbornness instead of perseverance. Shackleton was ready to depart to Antarctica however; just when he was at South Georgia, local seamen warned him that he might get trapped and advised him to wait until next year. At this point he had the opportunity to make a decision and wait, but due to the compromises reached with his sponsors and the conditions in Britain getting in WWI he took a risk to go forth and as a result, underestimate the situation. This I can consider to be the main crisis. B. Impulsive decision making skills. Another minor crisis occurred, for example at Elephant Island, where Shackleton had to make another decision leaving the majority of the men in there, and going out to seek for help. At South Georgia the ship damaged beyond repair, which forced Shackleton to take another risky decision, tat lead him to hiking 29 miles of glaciers.

2. Two criteria often used to evaluate management and leadership are effectiveness and efficiency. Using the 4 functions of management (planning, organizing, directing, and controlling), as your framework, plus other information you may locate, develop your argument regarding the extent to which Shackleton may be characterized as being effective/ineffective and/or efficient/inefficient. Provide some specific examples to support your argument. My argument is that Shackleton varies between being an effective and ineffective leader. However he always demonstrated efficient characteristics that enable him to be more succesfull. His trip to Antarctica illustrates his wavering skills on effectiveness, for example: Shackleton did his job conscientiously, he planned every detail, he organized and directed, getting involved even in the quality of the supplies (food, clothing, camping and traveling gear). He controlled as well, making...
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