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Small Business BuzzEnduring in a Crisis
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Ernest Shackleton, an explorer in the early 20th century, knew how to endure. His most famous expedition, known as the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition or the Endurance Expedition, proved that fact. Shackleton set out from London on August 1, 1914 with 27 crew members on the ship Endurance, in an attempt to cross Antarctica, Atlantic to Pacific, by way of the South Pole. However, the pack ice began to close in on Endurance, making in motionless in February and finally sinking it on November 21, 1915.
What happened in the months that followed showed great resolve from Shackleton in leading his crew. They had managed to salvage three small boats, cameras and meager provisions before the ship went down. The crew then trudged their way across the uneven pack ice terrain. After attempts at reaching various locations, Shackleton settled on Elephant Island, which they reached in March of 1916. Shackleton was determined to get his entire crew home safely and, despite the treacherous seas that awaited him, he and six other crew members took a 23 foot boat back to England. On August 30, 1916 they returned to Elephant Island with a ship and rescued the entire crew. Not one member was lost.
Shackleton’s ship was appropriately named, not because the ship endured, but because the crew never gave up. They showed great resolve in surviving through below freezing temperatures for nearly two years, with little provisions and, frankly, little hope. Shackleton was an especially strong leader and, without his help, the crew probably never would have had the resolve to survive. He knew how to endure in a crisis.
While something you may face with your business won’t be nearly as disastrous as the fate of Endurance, you can still come out on top just like Shackleton and his crew. When you face any sort of crisis, keep these elements in mind:
When problems arise, take a minute to breath, and then brainstorm all the possible outcomes and how to accomplish what is best for your “ship” (business) and your “crew” (employees/family). Don’t be afraid to be creative and take risks. Enduring a crisis can’t happen if risks aren’t taken.
Forget the Rules
There may arise a situation in which you have to measure the consequences of breaking the rules against enduring a crisis and surviving. While I’m not implying that you should do something illegal to make your business survive, I am stating that the typical unspoken rules of operating a business will likely not apply when a crisis rears its ugly head.
Determine to Survive
Again, while most of us will not have to endure the Antarctic for two years, life has it’s far share of challenges for each of us. The important thing is that you don’t give up, but endure whatever crisis may come your way. You’ll be stronger and more resilient in the end, I promise.Related Buzz Posts:
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By Michelle Cramer
Tuesday, April 30th, 2013 @ 12:01 AM CDT