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Leadership in Crisis

Sir Ernest Shackleton and the


Epic Voyage of the Endurance
Alliance University
Alliance School of
Business

Venkataraman K
Organization Behavior Assignment # 1, Date:18-Nov-2014

Overview

Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition (Aug,1914 ~ Oct,1916)

Milestones on Polar Expeditions (Mission were aimed to reach south


pole)

Objective of Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition

The Protagonist : Sir Ernest Shackleton


Preparation for Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition

Challenges foreseen by Ernest Shackleton before the expedition

Meticulous & Vital Preparation

Interview while selecting the Scottish Physician Dr.Alexander Macklin

Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition

Plan, Problems, Danger & Disaster and Missed Goal

Remembering Shackleton

Possible Solution

Leadership in Crisis : Shackleton s way (OBHR Concepts)

Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition


(Aug1914~Oct1916)

Milestones on Polar Expeditions (Mission were aimed to reach south


pole)

In 1895, 6th Geographical congress in London declared that understanding of


Antarctica to be the most urgent scientific issues of the era

Dec 1902, Scott & ES reach southernmost point attained by any expedition 350miles
of South pole

April 1909, ES Leads British Antarctic Expedition & trek to within 97miles of south pole

Dec 1911, Roald Amundsen & his team of 4 becomes 1st to reach south pole

Jan 1912, Scott & his team reach south pole & die on return trek

Objective of Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition

Goal is to be first to cross Antarctic Continent

The Protagonist : Sir Ernest Shackleton

Born in 1874 in Ireland & he was enthralled by the idea


of man mastering nature and has fascination for sea

At 16 joined as boy, displayed self-confidence, scaled


the maritime ladder and Shackleton s audacity earned

him respect and promotions

Became member of National Antarctic Expedition (NAE) in 1901

Within 750 miles all


animal and plant life is
nonexistent

Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition


(Aug1914~Oct1916)

Challenges foreseen by Ernest Shackleton before the expedition

Dealing with Food, Emphasized the value of sugar, No Alcoholic stimulant


except tea/cocoa

Lack of Vitamin C, other nutrition & right combination of food results in many decease
like Scurvy etc

A 19-hour day is to be adhered to and save 25hrs in a week

8 hours of
2hrs rest, 1hr preparation & 8hrs sleep
Meticulous
&march,
Vital Preparation

Commissioned sealed pills of lemon juice, developed a Composite Cake which


produce 3000calories per cake with variety of ingredients

Sourced Quality equipment, clothing for the journey & buying only the latest
technology in polar wear

All the 22 crews were handpicked based on qualities of Optimism & Personal trait
and supported by his instinct for judging the character

Interview while selecting the Scottish Physician Dr.Alexander


Macklin
ES: Is your eyesight all right?... Why are you wearing spectacles?
Dr.Alexander : Many a wise face would look foolish without spectacles
ES : All right.Ill take you

Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition


(Aug1914~Oct1916)

Plan
First Ship (Endurance) to travel into Weddell Sea which bounded Antarctica,
deposit a crew of 6 men who would then journey overland across the
continent to the Ross Sea on the other side. Second Ship would sail directly to
Ross Sea and dispatch several men to lay supply for the second half of the
overland partys trek.

Problem, Danger, Disaster & Missed


goal

Jan 10,1915 the crew spotted Antarctica


land Dawson-Lambton Glacier and the
commander didnt stop there, hoping
instead to land at Vahsel Bay (200miles
southwest) to reduce the overland crossing
distance

Endurance within the sight of the desired


landing point (80miles offshore. Icebergs
forced to draw back from shore)

Wintering on the immobile Endurance


till July 13,1915 (Temp -34C). Boiler fire put
off & only maintenance /ordinary works done

Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition


(Aug1914~Oct1916)

Problem, Danger, Disaster & Missed


goal

Abandoning Endurance : Million of tons of


pack ice had pressed the ship on all sides &
weakened the timbers

Oct 27,1915, ES ordered crews to


abandon the ship & camped in thick ice
nearby (temp -26C)

ES decided to march the men across the


ice in the hopes of reaching Paulet Island
which is 350miles nothwest(to salvage
ration from storehouse of 1903
expedition)

3 boats salvaged from Endurance were


filled with supply till end of the ice pack &
launch an open boat journey to Paulet
island

Life on Ice: Nov 1, 1915, set up a


permanent camp(5 tents) & salvaged all the

Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition


(Aug1914~Oct1916)

Problem, Danger, Disaster & Missed


goal

Elephant Island: Men were ecstatic to spot


Elephant island after 16months

Launched a boat to South Georgia(800miles


away) to reach get the rescue. ES with 5
crew men left for South Georgea on April
24,1916 with ration for 6 weeks

Crew were plagued & fatigue forced ES to


land at west coast(uninhabited) 150miles
short of South.

Its a devil of a risk to claim up-down 5 peak


& finally reach May 20, 1916 South Georgia

Desperately scouted for funds to hire a boat


& reached Elephant Island on Aug 30,1916.

ES was very emotional & restless till he


rescued all the 22men

ES with 8 crew of former Endurance depart


London abroad QUEST as a leader of

Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition


(Aug1914~Oct1916)

Remembering Shackleton

Dedicated 22yrs of his life on polar work


which had brought him fame & knighthood

Discovered Beardmore Glacier & added


200miles of Antarctic coastline to the map
and conquered SCURVY

Never lost a man who was under his


protection

Fellow crew remember ES: ES was a proud


& dauntless spirited Englishman and demands
compelling loyalty. We would have gone
anywhere without a question just on his order

Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition


(Aug1914~Oct1916)

Possible Solution:

Jan 10,1915 the crew spotted Antarctica land


Dawson-Lambton Glacier and the
commander didnt stop there, hoping instead
to land at Vahsel Bay (200miles southwest)
to reduce the overland crossing distance

Had ES launched the boats to Vahsel Bay(Jan


10,1915), he could have easily trekked the
250miles through Land to achieve his goal of
first ever Imperial Trans-Antarctic
Expedition

Leadership in Crisis
:Shackleton s way
(OBHR Concepts)

Diversity & Demography

All 22 crew members were hand picked from 6 different countries like
England, Ireland, Scotland, Australia, New Zealand & United States

Apart from common maritime experience the profession of the crews varied
from Surgeon, Geologist, Meteorologist, Physicist, Biologist, Photographer,
Artist, Carpenter & Cook

Many of them lacked Polar expedition experience & 1st time to see the pack
ice, floes & ice berg

Networking
& People
Skill

The crew carry


a perceived
social & professional disparities among themselves

First week on board, all the crew members are surprised by interaction ES
have had with them. ES had very intimate discussion with everyone to know
about them, their past, skill, hobby and also shared his love of poetry into
conversation on deck.

Quickly the crews gave a good-natured nick-name Boss

Attitude, Authentic, Authoritarian & Transformational


Leadership

Demanded unquestioning loyalty and responsiveness to his orders, avoiding


direct arguments or negotiations with his men

Wild, Shckletons second in command and most trusted mate of crew. The
crew approaches Wild instead of ES on any complaints & problems due to

Leadership in Crisis
:Shackleton s way
(OBHR Concepts)

Resolving Conflict (Interpersonal)

Wintering on the Endurance

9months long wait on Endurance with its boilers fires


off

Dreaded the effects of idleness and boredom on a


crew which has no responsibilities or routine

Insisted to maintain the regular & ordinary duties as


closely as possible like, keeping anchor free of rust,
swabbing the decks/hulls, organizing and rationing
supplies and ordered to hunt for seal/penguin
whenever supply of fresh meant ran low.

Conflicts: Waiting out the winter aboard an inert


ship was extremely unpleasant. Physical &
Psychological discomfort owing to the .cramping of
the work and forced association with amiable crowd
who are not the scientific staff

The situation were tensed & flared up at times,


when they were
forced to reconciled to their shared
situation when everyone had different specialties

Leadership in Crisis
:Shackleton s way
(OBHR Concepts)

Resolving Conflict (Interpersonal)

Wintering on the Endurance


Achieving Group Cohesiveness & Establish
close relationship:

Deviation from military/maritime norms, ES had


ordered Officers, Scientists and sailors to share the
manual drudgery on ship equally

For few of them keeping aside the pride of their


caste/position power etc. ., were very tough.

Sharing the labor worked well to extinguish


jealousies among crew and humbled one & knockout all any last remnants of false pride.

Leadership in Crisis
:Shackleton s way
(OBHR Concepts)

Intuitive Decision Making & Motivation

Abandoning Ship, Life on Ice, Fight the Death & Desperation to


reach shore
ES Quoted I realized the loneliness and penalty of leadership
Intuitive Decision Making

Although Worsley suggested to camp on the nearest floe and wait for the ice
drift to carry them to the island (might be safer),.ES ordered a march on ice
by dragging the 3 salvaged boats (with supply) as it ensures the march
towards land & safety instead of idling on ice.

Called off the 1st grueling trek & made a permanent camp (5 tents) and
ordered a 2nd march after realizing a eastward drift of floe.. The 2nd march
proved very costly as the crew were getting Angry, exhaustive, discouraged &
plaugued and challenged the decision of ES.

ES review the situation & announced to pay in full for each day until
they reach safety (legally ES is not obligated to pay the team for their time
after the ship was lost)

ES announced the need for change in plan as march didnt yield much
progress and the crew were seriously worn & strained.. ES has changed the
destination 4th time & decided to use southeast wind to reach Elephant Island

Leadership in Crisis
Sir Ernest Shackleton and the
Epic Voyage of the Endurance
Alliance University
Alliance School of
Business

Venkataraman K
Organization Behavior Assignment # 1, Date:18-Nov-2014