The greatest leader that ever came on God’s Earth, bar none.
Sir Ernest Shackleton will forever be known for his epic tale of survival and exemplary leadership on his Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition of 1914/16, when his ship, Endurance, was ‘crushed like matchsticks’ in the frozen Southern Seas and his 27-strong team were forced to endure five months camped on the ice, before the thaw released them into the open sea and they rowed, frozen, wet and mad for thirst for seven days, to Elephant Island. On Elephant Island, Shackleton took five men and a boat and sailed 800 miles to South Georgia – still considered the most audacious sea journey ever – and crossed uncharted peaks and glaciers to Stromness Bay, to a whaling station and life. From here, Shackleton raised the necessary funds and returned to Elephant Island to rescue his men. Not a single life was lost.
The story is in itself a magical, inspirational tale – but for today’s leaders it is far more besides. In this centennial anniversary year of Shackleton’s Endurance expedition, Rebecca talks on Shackleton’s extraordinary leadership qualities, that were unquestionably ahead of the times. Shackleton was a man of rare emotional intelligence. For Shackleton, teamwork was more than an ingredient for success; it was a goal in itself. He was compassionate and respectful of every member of his team, ‘a Viking with a mother’s heart.’ It is a story that will inspire people to lead their teams through the toughest of times with compassion and a renewed sense of responsibility.
Rebecca has a strong personal connection to the story. In 2001, she crossed South Georgia in the footsteps of Shackleton on the last leg of his legendary journey. And in November this year, sails south to Antarctica again, to mark the anniversary of the sinking of Shackleton’s ship, Endurance. This will be Rebecca’s forth expedition to Antarctica, a continent with whose geography and history she is well versed.