Inspire your team to persevere.

I have been reflecting on the story of Sir Ernest Shackleton. He led the entire crew of his ship, Endurance, to safety after being marooned on an ice floe for 15 months. Forced to abandon his original plan to cross the Antarctic, Shackleton’s story holds strong lessons for leaders facing uncontrollable change. Here are a few of his actions that you can put in place today that helped his people — and will help yours — keep the faith during periods of upheaval.

  • Redefine achievable goals:  people need clear goals to keep their spirits and productivity up. Shackleton told his crew they would live on the ice pack until it broke up and then use the ship’s lifeboats to sail to safety.
  • Assign routine tasks: 15 months on an ice floe would drive anyone crazy. Shackleton assigned daily tasks that supported the long-term goal of eventual freedom.
  • Demonstrate unity: Shackleton, the ship’s captain and other expedition leaders lived and worked alongside everyone. They were a team and lived with the mantra of, “We’re in this together.”

True leadership shines during turmoil and change. Now is the time .