This will be an additional running commentary and brainstorm about what we can learn about business and people via real life dramas. This feature is in addition to our regular Brain Storm! podcast and blog. Business is really about people, and the more we know about them, what they want, how they act, what motivates them, what makes them successful, the better communicators and influencers we can be.
I have heard that real life and even fictional literature can teach us much about human nature - good and bad. Even if the story creates caricatures out of it's characters, making the good guy really good and bad guys wholly bad when people are normally a mixture of both, it can create an excellent basis for a study. Shackelton himself was such a mixture, as history later reflects.
We will base this on Ernest Shackelton's journey on the Endurance to the South Pole for an expedition hoping to be the 1st to traverse the Antarctic on foot. In 1915, this was a huge feat, and what the captain and crew underwent will teach us volumes about people and how to handle situations that are governed by circumstances outside of our control.
One of the things I noticed first of all was that this entire project came into being because the last great challenge had already been accomplished by someone else - I believe it was to reach the South Pole. The only thing left was to traverse the Antarctic on foot. This crew wanted to do it for Britain because this land had been claimed for Britain, and Swedes and Nords had been the ones to successfully accomplish the other feats
One business lesson to be learned was, when putting the project together, they found the people with a lot of experience in this type of research and adventure. Also, when he started making preparations, he did them quietly, and not until he thought he had secured enough money pledged to conduct the expedition did he make it public. However, after applications had been received and items and boats had been purchased, funds disappeared...