“Five miles a day!”

Sir Ernest Shackleton.  One of my greatest heroes.

Trapped with his men on the Antarctic Ice in 1914 – long before GPS and Satellite phones were available to summon help.  And yet against the odds, he led them all out to rescue.  All of them – not a single man was lost.

There’s an excellent two-part film about it starring Kenneth Brannagh which is well worth looking up.

It’s a tremendous story.  But the thing that made the biggest impact on me was something relatively small.  Each morning, when the men strapped into their harnesses to drag heavy rowing boats full of supplies across the pack-ice for another day, they shouted as one:

“Elephant Island!  Five miles a day!”

I have never heard a simpler or more effective expression of a team vision.  It encompasses their destination, their strategy for getting there and a means of measuring success.  Brilliant!

Conversely, I have almost never come across a modern organisation which can summarise their vision so succinctly and effectively.

Can you?  If you can, does every person in your team understand it?

What might be your version of Shackleton’s “Elephant Island!  Five Miles a day!” 

positiveleadership #strategicthinking #businessdevelopment #strategy

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