Sunday, April 29, 2007

Shackleton's Legacy

I have been reading McCain's book "Character is Destiny" at night before going to bed. Regardless of your political leanings, it is a must read. McCain and Mark Salter do an excellent job of presenting the reader with profiles of great leadership. Each is only a few pages (quick read - great for one story a night) and is attributed a theme. Last night I read about Sir Ernest Shackleton.. who tried three times to go to the South Pole.... The third trip became a testiment to his leadership skills. Nova has a short clip that touches on the challenges he and his team, but is simple terms... nothing went right. It took luck, courage, and great leadership to save his men. While McCain and Salter use the theme loyality, and it is a fitting, I perfer to use the theme selflessness! Here are three lessons I have gained from reading about Shackleton:

  1. The mission is important, but never use the lives (careers) of your subordinates to achieve a personal goal.
  2. Walk the walk.. do not ask of anyone, anything that you would not do yourself.
  3. It takes optimism, courage, and a willingness to endure conditions that most would not, but even in the worst conditions, one can achive great things.

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