Happy Birthday Sir Ernest Shackleton

This week, Sir Ernest Shackleton would have celebrated his 138th birthday. Happy birthday Sir Ernest! I’m sure you’re very familiar with Sir Ernest’s adventure to the Antarctic. He was a very special leader. He inspired twenty eight men on the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, he kept them together as a team and they all came through it to tell the story.

Their expedition was tough, really tough. Tough times require strong leadership. Shackleton was a very strong leader and is now widely regarded as one of the greatest leaders of all time.

So how did he do it? What qualities did he have? How did he manage to keep all his men alive and return home safe from one of the world’s most toughest environments?

What can you learn from Shackleton’s attitude? How can Shackleton help you in achieving your very best?

Leadership comes in many forms. Parents, teachers, managers, anyone who helps others achieve their dreams is a leader! As there’s a spectrum of leadership, I’m sure you’ll definitely want to be on the good side!

Shackleton led a team in a very tough environment, a life threatening environment. He led by example and there are some amazing lessons which we can all learn from him.

Shackleton showed leadership qualities on the Antarctic Expedition which should still be demonstrated in today’s world by every leader. He led with a positive attitude, he was optimistic and his team were his priority.

Whenever i2i work with a team, we work extremely hard on establishing and creating the right mission, vision and values. This helps leaders and teams share the same path because everyone involved needs to be a part of the journey.

Creating a positive culture within a business is fundamental. i2i regularly facilitate the ‘5 Steps Of Change’ to establish an inspirational culture within an organisation. Shackleton had the correct culture on board The Endurance.

Shackleton led his men through horrendous conditions and out of the other side. His leadership skills kept them together and focussed on the ultimate goal. He was firm but fair, with the right balance of task and people skills. He lived by example, would often be the last to eat and always put his team first.

He had an amazing ability to command, which always came from respect. Shackleton enforced high standards of cleanliness with good living standards.

We have spoken before about the focus on the dream. If you work towards this in any way, each day, you’re on the right path. Shackleton did this daily with his team. He was extremely inspirational.

There’s lots of what we discuss on the i2i course about inspirational attributes, if you’ve experienced our material, you’ll know about the importance of establishing good basic standards and moving up, level by level towards the inevitable dream. This is very important to the psychology and success of individuals and teams.

Sir Ernest Shackleton’s leadership legacy lives on. He showed us what to do, we should make sure that we do it.

Happy birthday Sir Ernest.

i2i Team - i2i Founder - Michael Finnigan
About The Author – Michael Finnigan

Michael Finnigan works with the world’s most famous businesses, helping them to understand how to unleash the power lying dormant within their people. Michael consults with corporate, public sector and sporting clients all over the world to lead and deliver positive change.

Michael’s work within elite sport includes clients in Premier League football, international cricket. He worked closely with Darren Clarke ahead of his victory at the Open Championship.


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