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The Art of Waiting

Updated: May 8, 2020

One of the things that inspired me most about Shackleton as I was researching his story, was his wisdom in leading his crew. He was a flexible and adaptable leader, adjusting his strategies when nature threw a wrench in his plans. He had a very insightful understanding of human nature and relationship dynamics; he would often keep the most pessimistic crew members close to him so that he could instill both discipline and hope. His intuition for what needed to be done in the moment was in many ways, what saved his men from despair in times of great difficulty. He had an incredible gift for keeping hope alive in his men.

“Equal in importance to Shackleton’s supreme resilience, was his care, almost obsession, for the well-being of his men. Shackleton was ever concerned about his men’s morale. He understood that idleness quickly begets depression, and so he kept the men as active as possible, sending them out for vigorous games of football and hockey while the Endurance was trapped in ice.”

-Brett and Kate McCay “Leadership Lessons from Ernest Shackleton” from The Art of Maniless

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