For Discussions on Leadership...

1. You come across many leaders in your everyday life.


Share an example of someone you know personally that is a great leader. (You might include for consideration a parent, grandparent, teacher, or coach.) 


What is it about that person’s leadership you admire?



2. Shackleton led by example, jumping in to share the work he asked his men to do.


Share an example of someone you have seen lead by example.



3. Shackleton communicated effectively with his team. At every crisis, he called everyone together so they would hear about the situation directly from him.


What impact can brief, straightforward messages from a leader have?


What is the result when such communication during a crisis is lacking?



4. Forty years after the Endurance expedition, a crew member recalled the Boss was “very friendly and easy to talk to.” Everyone had a personal connection with Shackleton.


What is the importance of such a direct connection?


How would you open, or limit, the lines of personal communication with your team?



5. Shackleton worked hard to keep up morale. A tent mate recalled, “He realized fully the enormous and almost instantaneous effect of food on the morale and took all kinds of trouble to vary the ration or try some new way of cooking things, to issue a little tit-bit to commemorate something, a birthday for example, or some other anniversary.”


What gestures do you think are most appreciated in building morale and camaraderie in a team?



6. A crew member said of Shackleton, “He didn't care if he went without a shirt on his own back so long as the men he was leading had sufficient clothing.” When Hurley lost his gloves on the boat journey to Elephant Island, Shackleton took off his own gloves and insisted Hurley use them.


Have you experienced, or learned of, a leader like that?


What might be equivalent of that action in our world?



7. In Shackleton’s account of the Endurance expedition, he wrote, “A man must shape himself to a new mark directly the old one goes to ground.”


How might this apply in business or personal goals today?



8. Shackleton said, “I have often marveled at the thin line which separates success from failure.”


What is the value of having survived a failure?



9. Through tremendous difficulties, Shackleton maintained a positive attitude.


How did this make a difference in his team’s survival?


What strategies can you use to maintain a positive attitude in your work and non-work life?



10. Shackleton often used psychology on his crew members to ease their stress, such as putting the most nervous among them in charge of supplies or convincing his exhausted crew members that they had slept much longer than they had.


What strategies do you use to keep mentally fit under stress and to help those around you?



11. Shackleton was a master of leadership in crisis. During the worldwide pandemic, what were the examples of leadership you most admired and why?



12. Brainstorm with colleagues strategies to:


  • Lead by example

  • Communicate effectively

  • Keep up morale

  • Maintain a positive attitude