I started reading Forged In Crisis a few days ago. So far it’s terrific but it might be that the first example of leadership the author, Nancy Koehn, calls on is Ernest Shackleton. I’ve been a fan since I was in high school and wrote a report about Robert Scott and how he was the second guy to make it to the south pole but died on the return trip. Ernest Shackleton had been on some discovery ventures with Scott before and learned from Scott’s failures.
What I’ve Gleaned so Far
Do or Do Not — Leaders Do (and sometimes fail)
It turns out that great leaders often make the biggest mistakes. It might even be due to those mistakes that they rise and are recognized as great leaders. Shackleton, on an
expedition to be the first to cross the entire Antarctic continent, made some big mistakes. Before they could even start, Shackleton’s ship was trapped and eventually crushed by ice flows, stranding him and his crew.
Perception is Reality
Shackleton never showed his fears to his crew but instead maintained a sense of courage and calm, even in the face of what could have been a cold tragedy.
Letting Kids do Hard Things (and fail) = Great Parenting
Early in life Shackleton was placed in situations that taught him lessons he learned later in life. How often do we allow our kids to be in stressful situations without bailing them out? Probably not enough.
You Can Learn a Lot about a Man/Woman by Who She/He Associates With
Shackleton hired a great team. People may scoff and say that great teams carry their captain (like Phil Jackson and Jordan’s Bulls or Steve Curr and today’s Warriors). But what people overlook is that great leaders purposefully surround themselves with the best people. In fact, the people leaders surround themselves with are a great indicator of the leadership qualities and qualifications of a leader.