“Who?” I hear you ask.
And that would be a fair question because until my old man mentioned him to me last week, I’d never heard of him either. However, here I am less than a week later wondering how I’d never heard of him before, indeed how no one I’ve spoken to about him since has ever heard of him before either. Perhaps it’s because for many decades Shackleton’s story was (wrongly) overshadowed by that of his contemporary Robert Falcon Scott (a.k.a Scott of the Antarctic).
But Ernie Shack was a beast. A true hero. Literally the stuff of legend. It’s kind of impossible to do justice to what he accomplished on my posy little blog, but rest assured I’m going to be posting A LOT about him over the coming weeks and months. Why? What has he done that has so got my pulse racing? The short version is that after his ship, The Endurance, sank amidst the ice of Antarctica back in 1915, it triggered one of the most incredible episodes of survival against-the-odds and courageous rescue in history. Through vision, compassion and brave leadership – Shackleton ensured that every single member of his team made it home. Now it’s probably fair to say that my introduction to this heroic figure has come at a time when leadership is something that I have been thinking long and hard about. Certainly the leadership qualities that he displayed were both remarkable and exemplary. Plus it’s also fair to say that such stories of adventure have always captured my imagination! Perhaps it’s because I’m just a big kid at heart. Or maybe it’s because I still see life, especially as a follower of Jesus, as the epic quest to end all quests and therefore love heroic, true-life stories of adventure because I’m in the middle of one! (I like to think it’s the latter!)
Either way, I’ve just ordered myself a bunch of books and DVDs to get better acquainted with my new mate friend, Shackleton, and will be unpacking all sorts of leadership lessons and inspirations as I get stuck in. In the meantime, however, I really want you to discover this man and his story for yourselves, so I’ve posted a series of YouTube videos below that together make up a documentary that should prove more than enough to get your blood pumping.