The People I Want On My Ship: Job Postings & Ernest Shackleton

Exploration looked completely different just 200 years ago.

In 1866 we had primitive explorations of Africa by Stanley & Livingstone, learn why Africa was of strategic interest in the 19th century.

And then Ernest Shackleton in 1912.

He set out for Antarctica with a crew of twenty seven men.

On this journey they encountered mile, after mile, after mile of packed ice that trapped their ship in the South Atlantic.

They were forced to camp on the ice until it disintegrated.

This led to a perilous journey of over 830 miles by lifeboat to reach Elephant Island and ultimately a safe arrival to South Georgia Island where they were able to receive help.

This story holds many interesting elements to consider.

How would modern day ships get out of such a situation? NOT-A-FLAMETHROWER guest appearance? Besides the ocean, where in nature could you compare a similar amount of pressure? It’s remarkable that no one died on this mission. How do you determine the type of person you need to be successful in this type of adventure?

The question of “How do you find the right people?” is one of key importance, especially for a company.

Maybe we can learn a thing or two by looking at the newspaper ad for this expedition:

“Men wanted for a hazardous journey. Small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in case of success.”

Besides the fact that this paints a realistic picture for the voyage, and a startup for that matter – the vast majority fail, the people who love this ad love the idea of a challenge, facing insurmountable odds.

If that’s your why, loving a challenge, and you’re clear on it you’re more likely to be attracted to this opportunity and ultimately succeed.

That is the type of person I want on my ship.

Photo by eberhard 🖐 grossgasteiger on Unsplash.

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