4 Leadership Lessons From Ernest Shackleton

December 8, 2014 - leadership
4 Leadership Lessons From Ernest Shackleton

HBS just issued a special podcast packed with leadership lessons based on Ernest Shackleton, the first man to cross the continent of Antarctica. Under adverse circumstances Shackleton was able to lead his men to finish their mission. But how did he gave his men confidence?

Here are four lessons:

  1. He managed his emotions and maintained a positive and confident attitude despite the odds. He wasn’t always optimist about the future but he was always certain about his plan of attack
  2. While he didn’t know what was going to happen next he was always improvising. He always had a plan
  3. Because of having a plan he doesn’t allow time and effort to dissipate and for people to “wonder” what’s going to happen to them
  4. He spent time among his men on a regular basis and they all had a sense of who he was. They knew who he was as a human being and were able to believe him in a very real manner


“When leaders find their backs and their mission up against the wall, they first have to turn inside and figure out how to manage and lead from their own stronger self, from their own core strength”