“Leadership in Crisis

Skeleton was aiming to sail the boat through he Widely Sea and then take his men to the Ross Sea on the opposite side of the continent, therefore making it a 1500 mile journey for the crew. (Keen, 2010 p. 1) This journey had high associated risks, and needed to secure tremendous funding for, two vessels, as well as two crews. The Endurance expedition should be analyzed as a scientific endeavor as well as an entrepreneurial venture. On one hand Antarctic exploration was a very popular endeavor because the land for the most part was unexplored and any attainable information on undiscovered land was highly insightful and valuable.

And on the other hand Ernest Skeleton was trying to establish a name for himself as an explorer. Skeleton’s main goal was to be the first to reach the South Pole, as no one had claimed it yet. Britain held records for the farthest exploration to the north and south polar areas, but faced international competition as time went on. There was an international race to reach the South Pole and claim it under England. This mission was soon lost to England so Skeleton decided to try once more to “do the last big thing in the south”. Keen, 2010 p. 5) Skeleton announced hat he would be compiling a crew and the necessary components to trek the Antarctic from sea to sea. Many missions involving polar exploration carried a high risk and usually experienced devastating losses. To illustrate- a mission was considered successful if new land was discovered and “some” men came back alive. (Keen, 2010 p. 3) Antarctic exploration was deemed the most important scientific issue of the era by the Sixth International Geographical Congress.

So this venture would more so be qualified as a scientific expedition, but being that Skeleton was the commander and he was trying to gain notoriety for “doing he last big thing in the south”, I would say this expedition classifies as both. 2) A managerial scholar has defined entrepreneurship as the “relentless Pursuit of opportunity without regard to resources currently controlled. ” Using this definition, evaluate Skeleton’s actions on the Endurance expedition. Was Skeleton an entrepreneur? When I read this definition of entrepreneurship, I reconsider my previous statement that Skeleton was on an entrepreneurial endeavor.

Skeleton secured grants and funding for his trip south as well as food arrangements, securing two vessels and hand picking a crew. Due to the high risk of this mission as well as the doubt that was associated with its success, finding people to fund this exploration was difficult. Skeleton had to personally raise funds by cultivating friendships with press members and selling off shares of photographs that “may” be taken on the journey. He also contacted the wealthiest and most likely donors in Britain and wrote personal letters to them asking for funding. Keen, 2010 p. 6) After securing the funding, food, crew and supplies the Endurance set sail on their polar exploration. After a series of unforeseen mishaps concerning the low temperatures which caused the boat to be wedged between ice plateaus, the hull of the boat was cracked. The British exploration team took salvage on the ice and set up camp. Now the crew and Skeleton had a new mission, to get back alive, along the way they faced many challenges. The weather was harsh, the food supplies were dwindling and the isolation of the crew was beginning to take its toll.

Skeleton kept the crew lively by assigning them duties as they had on the ship, everyone had a function to perform in equality; this eliminated jealousy amongst the crew members. Skeleton set out to accomplish this feat of crossing the continent from sea to sea with some of his men, due to the environmental conditions; he lost his boat and had to transport all 27 men to safety. Skeleton had a higher regard for his men’s safety than his own. Skeleton treated his man as if they were friends rather than just workers, he treated them with high respect and not as a resource. ) What parallels do you see between Skeleton and other entrepreneurs or leaders whom you have studied? What were Skeleton’s strengths and weaknesses? A difference that I notice in reference to Skeleton as opposed to other leaders is his concern for his crew members. Skeleton had a higher regard for his men’s safety than his own. Skeleton treated his man as if they were friends rather than just workers; he treated them with high respect and not as a resource to be used. Typically leaders will treat their crew or workers as if they are less than them.

Skeleton treated his man very fairly in regards to rank and hierarchical differences. After securing the funding, food, crew and supplies the Endurance set sail on their polar exploration. After a series of unforeseen mishaps concerning the low temperatures which caused the boat to be wedged between ice plateaus, the hull of the boat was cracked. The British exploration team took salvage on the ice and set up camp. Now the crew and Skeleton had a new mission, to get back alive, along the way they faced many challenges.

The weather was harsh, the food supplies were dwindling and the isolation of the crew was beginning to take its toll. Skeleton kept the crew lively by assigning them duties as they had on the ship, everyone had a function to perform in quality; this eliminated jealousy amongst the crew members. He made sure that no individual member would feel as if they were more important than anyone else. They all had job rotations and they all equally contributed and did each other’s jobs. Skeleton had many strengths, he could motivate his crew from his personality only.

He kept them lively and encouraged them and kept them motivated for almost two years while they were stuck on the ice, that in itself is a huge accomplishment. He made the right decisions for his crew, instead of his personal interests. He made sure that he put his crews health above all there regard when things got bad. A weakness that plagued Skeleton was his stubbornness. He was told numerous times that the ice floes on route to Antarctica would ultimately stop him from completing his mission. He did not listen to this statement and continued on his journey.

Had he listened and waited for the weather to change (as was recommended to him) he would not have been stuck in his predicament and lost his ship. 4) Why are people today so interested in Ernest Skeleton? Since the mid-to- late sass, why have there been so many books (business/general interest), ivies, exhibits, and other projects about Skeleton? Skeleton led his entire party across the ice after the Endurance was destroyed by ice; he is remembered as a great leader overcoming various feats.

It is said that his ‘genius for leadership’ is what kept his crew going strong when the elements were against them. (Keen, 2010 p. 25) Skeleton kept his men on task and in pursuit of their ultimate goal of returning home in good health. He took his leadership role very seriously within this crisis and the proceeding stages, always overseeing his crew and making decisions to ultimately benefit the team s a whole. The way he structured and led his crew ultimately contributed to their survival during this adventure.