Leadership in Crisis Essay

Words: 1133
Pages: 5

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

1. In what context should the Endurance expedition be analyzed? As a scientific endeavor? An entrepreneurial venture? An exercise in imperial opportunity? By what criteria should the expedition be evaluated? Given your answer to the preceding question, was it a success or a failure?
I believe that this expedition should be analyzed as an entrepreneurial venture because the South Pole had already been found so there were no more continents for Shackleton to conquer. He would not be a hero in this venture because Robert Falcon Scott had already been there and died a hero. Shackleton had to find his own resources for this adventure as most entrepreneurs
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He knew that he would not immediately be a hero even if he accomplished his goal. I would compare him to Abraham Lincoln in that Lincoln knew he would receive backlash in the short term if he freed the slaves but that history would be on his side. Sacrificing short term popularity for long term goals is a great trait for an entrepreneur to have. Lyndon Johnson knew that he would cost his party a lot of votes by passing the civil rights bill but he knew in the long run, he would be vindicated. Shackleton believed enough in his plan that he would be vindicated as well. During the survival portion, Shackleton showed great leadership and courage under fire such as Lincoln did when the country was breaking apart. A weaker leader could have lost his men to panic and chaos. Shackleton’s strengths were his willingness to never give up, able to coordinate a plan to get to South Pole and back, and the ability to motivate and keep his men together through thick and thin. Some of his weaknesses were that he had a pretty big ego and a little too cocky before the ship got into trouble. He did not like to take anyone’s advice and had a stubbornness streak in him. Shackleton insisted on sailing out of South Georgia Island in the winter of 1914–15, for example. He could have waited it out and not encountered the ice floes that the whalers at South Georgia predicted were coming.

4. Why are people today so interested in Ernest Shackleton? Since the mid-to-late