Sunday, April 10, 2022

on leadership

The Endurance was trapped in sea-ice for months before sinking to the deep in 1915

NOVA: How about the carpenter Henry McNeish? How did your grandfather handle his attempted mutiny?

Shackleton: Well, that was the only serious instance of discord on the expedition. My grandfather came upon Worsley confronting McNeish. McNeish was refusing to obey orders, and Worsley was not handling it as well as he should have. McNeish thought that he could make some decisions better himself, and he said that since the ship was sunk, their obligations were over. They did not have to obey orders.

My grandfather quietly went away and got a copy of the ship's articles and read them to the ship's company. He said that though the ship had sunk, their pay would continue until they reached port, and therefore they were all still under his command. That ended the confrontation.