From our distant African origins to the igloo-dwelling Greenland Inuit, humankind has always extended our reach into whatever new and unexplored land lay at our domestic frontiers. We have not shied away from the most extreme of environments. Rather, we have learned, through trial and error, how to enter, how to survive and even thrive … More “All or nothing: When do you take the big risk?” Sometimes you just have to plunge ahead.
Promises and commitments are the outward signs of mutual trust between parties, a shared understanding, and a bargain to be upheld at each end. A contract, if you will, whether written and signed, or verbal and committed over a handshake, to terms large and detailed involving the exchange of vast sums of money, or as … More As Good as Your Word: Promises made to be kept
Who’s on your team? The question springs from a generality, an easily understood concept that in corporations, as in any organization made up of leaders and followers, the combined strength of the team in its members and its output is fundamental to the success of the project. But in the specifics, we must all ask … More “Who’s on your team?” More than you thought.
While holding a book event for “When Your Life Depends on It” yesterday, I was asked to talk about some of the bad decisions that were made. A very short, unqualified answer could be: “There are no bad decisions, only bad results.” Decisions quickly made under extreme circumstances in the face of sudden unforeseen hardships … More Re: What About the Bad Decisions?
—from the diary of Thomas Orde Lees— “18 August: The menace of last night materialized this morning, for we are thickly beset by the accursed ice, and it stretches in every direction further than the eye can see. It is a rotten day. The brightness has gone from the sky and snow comes from it … More Shackleton’s ‘Endurance’ Expedition, Elephant Island, August 18, 1916: “. . . we are thickly beset by the accursed ice. . .”
—from the diary of Thomas Orde Lees— “17 August. A sudden drop of 15deg in temperature should be expected to produce a sensation of cold, but quite the contrary is the case, for the sun shines brightly and the air is dry, and so it feels warmer than when it is twice as warm by … More Shackleton’s ‘Endurance’ Expedition, Elephant Island, August 17, 1916: “Limpeting proceeds apace. . .”
Terra Nova Press is pleased to announce the publication of our latest book When Your Life Depends on It: Extreme Decision-Making Lessons from the Antarctic. Co-written by Brad Borkan (London), this book uses epic true stories from the “heroic age” of Antarctic exploration to place the reader in those life and death situations and asks … More Now in Print: “When Your Life Depends on It” co-authored by David Hirzel and Brad Borkan
“28 July. Ingenious Bakewell secured several old pipes, broke them up and boiled them in water, subsequently boiling some sennegrass in the weird infusion. This he carefully dried and chopped and now declares that he couldn’t distinguish the result from tobacco. The aroma was positively overpowering and can only be described as a combination of … More Shackleton’s ‘Endurance’ Expedition, Elephant Island, July 28, 1916: “Smoking mixtures are the order of the day. . . .[Part II]”
—from the diary of Thomas Orde Lees— “28 July. Wild has fixed up a very ingenious little glass window into the canvas sheet beside his bunk so as to have more light to read by. It consists of the 6n square glass and mahogany frame of a chronometer box. It is cleverly sewn in. “Smoking … More Shackleton’s ‘Endurance’ Expedition, Elephant Island, July 28, 1916: “Smoking mixtures are the order of the day. . . .”
–from Shackleton’s account “South”— [On board the schooner Emma, off Elephant Island] “I took the schooner south at every chance, but always the line of ice blocked the way. The engineer, who happened to be an American, did things to the engines occasionally, but he could not keep them running, and the persistent south winds … More Shackleton’s ‘Endurance’ Expedition, July 26, 1916: “. . . always the line of ice blocked the way”