Situational approach:

The evaluation of the case unfolded the leadership style that was adopted by Shackleton,he followed a situational leadership approach as developed by Kenneth Blanchard and Paul Hersey. Shackleton did not seems to restrict himself to a particular way of leading his team, his approach to keep his team members motivated and focused was very flexible.

He adopted the correct leadership style that was required at such a crucial moment when no hope was clearly visible, his team member were losing patience and his greatest enemies were disengagement and anxiety(Goleman, 2000).

An immediate, new plan was needed to keep the men on track as per the situation. Although Shackleton was disappointed but he never let his disappointment overcome him. He wrote in his diary reminding himself “A man must shape himself to a new mark directly, the old goes to ground”.

The following moves of Shackleton showcase the characteristics of the situational leadership style. Since there are not as any specific traits of such type of leadership but following attributes come into play while describing the characteristics of such leadership style.




When the ship sank, almost every member of the crew lost their hope, except forShackleton who came up with another plan in order to keep the crew going. He never used any limited or defined approaches to lead his team;instead he was very flexible with his plans and mold it according to the situation and circumstances.

He divided the men into 3 groups; he would command James Caird,he appointed Worsely to lead the Dudley Docker and navigator Hudson to steer the smallest boat, the StancombWills(p.94)




Seeing the morale of his crewmen going down; Shackleton divided the crew into five tents choosing one strong head for each. With the energetic leadership in each small group, he hoped to keep morale high and discipline intact.


Harsh weather frequently confined the men to tents because it was difficult to even rest, so to keep the crew motivated with his presence to get through this difficult situation, he divided his time among all the tents.

“In the evenings, Shackleton divided his time among the tents, reciting poetry or playing cards with men”

Shackleton as an entrepreneur:

After analyzing different situations provided in the case, it can be said that:Shackleton was a true entrepreneur because despite of all odd and limited resources, he chose to sail in order to pursue the opportunitiesthat were untapped. As the case stated that even the local seaman warned Shackleton about the risk that he might face upon continuing his journey, he relentlessly moved in the direction of his dreams. Shackleton was so convinced with the thought that this expedition was so necessary for the nation,that nothing could have stopped him from reaching its desired destination. It is because of his passionthat he initiated the entrepreneurial activity by creating the resources and the opportunities all by himself. He used his creative and persuasive qualitiesto cover the expense of the voyagewhich reflects the attribute of an entrepreneur………………..

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