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Shackelton Case Study

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Essay title: Shackelton Case Study

1. The primary questions and issues you debated and discussed (ie. what did your team think was most relevant about the case?).

Issues discussed:

• Impetuous hiring process

o One member commented

 He didn't have a set of hiring criteria.

 Hired crew based on instinct and previously worked together in the past

 Due to lack of time had 5000 applicants but didn't review all of them.

o Other members thought it was a well rounded approach

 Separated into 3 groups and only focused on the best group

 Looked for humor

 Required significant mental strength for what was ahead

• Failures in planning and initial execution of the expedition:

o Chose the Weddell Sea to deposit crew, where other expeditions resulted in failure due to conditions.

o Reservations about ship used, because of overweight stern.

o Taking sled dogs without a trainer, when Shackelton and his crew were unskilled with sleds.

o Ignored warnings regarding ice flows.

• Shackelton did not let his crew sit idly by just passing the time

o People naturally thrive better when there is something to do

o On the ship everyone always had something to do

o When stuck in the ice he went one step further and made all the men equal in the duties each was assigned to. By doing this, Shackelton created equality among all the men (other then himself), thereby eliminating this potential problem area from causing a mutiny.

o One member called this a smart decision instead of a leadership trait.

o Another member said good leaders make smart decisions thus he was a good leader.

• Use of Rewards to Maintain Unity

o He declared every man would be paid in full when they reached safety

o Used food and powdered milk as rewards

o Rewards and recognition, regardless of how small, are strong motivators of people. This is a good lesson for all managers/leaders to acknowledge.

• Is Good Leadership Based on What you are Facing?

o Leadership is really just relevant to the situation you find yourself in

o Shackelton would not be considered a good leader if this story stopped before the crisis

o He did have some admirable qualities prior to the crisis, but they do not some up to conclude that he was a good leader

o It is only though the crisis (the right situation presenting itself) that we then turn the corer to define him as a good leader.

o Leadership is situational, we judge based on both the individual "and" the environment, you can not judge one without the other.

2. Your thoughts, insights, and/or conclusions about Shackleton's leadership.


• He failed at every major expedition or did he?

o Failed to reach the South Pole

o He conquered scurvy

o He returned with all his men

o He discovered the Beardmore Glacier

o added 200 miles to the map of Antarctic coastline

o He had earned fame and was knighted

o He was a failure for the ultimate goal of the South Pole but his successes benefited many other future expeditions and leadership ideas.

• He was a crisis manager

o Nobody want a crisis manager right?

o Many different types of leaders exist

o He would make a good HR, Risk or Operational manager because someone would be there to provide/manage the funds and provide guidelines to work in.

o Equated

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