The Brilliant Success of Shackleton’s Failure


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Sir Ernest Shackleton wanted to be the first man to walk across the Antarctic continent. In 1914, with a crew of 28 men, he set sail on the Endurance to complete the first “Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition." But harsh winds and frigid temperatures threatened the voyage from the start, and in short order the ship was marooned thousands of miles away from civilization. Shackleton suddenly realized a different task was at hand – keeping his crew alive. A team of restless seamen who quickly run out of food, patience, and hope. In this episode of Teamistry, host Gabriela Cowperthwaite travels back in time to discover the surprisingly modern leadership skills of Shackleton, like emotional intelligence and empathy. Hear from the diary of one of the crew to get a sense of the uncertainty and fear the seamen grappled with, and listen as Nancy Koehn, a historian and professor at the Harvard Business School, walks you through the pivotal moments when Shackleton's superior decision-making helped him salvage the expedition and hold the hearts of his men. Also, Tim Jarvis, an explorer who recreated some of Shackleton's journey, discusses how Shackleton's strategies can help us face climate change, and Thomas H. Zurbuchen talks about how he applies Shackleton's leadership lessons at NASA's Science Mission Directorate.

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17 episodes