The Seahawks, Broncos and Ernest Shackelton

The Seattle Seahawk’s Super Bowl run was fueled by their defense.  Do you know who their defensive coordinator was this season?

The Denver Broncos had the top offense this year in the NFL.  Can you name their offensive coordinator?

If you are like most fans, you probably cannot.

Ernest Shackelton is credited with engineering one of the most amazing maritime survival stories in History.  His ship, Endurance, got trapped in an ice flow during his Antarctic expedition in 1914.  As a result, he and his crew had to live on the Antarctic ice for a year, and then board three lifeboats when the ice eventually crushed the Endurance.  They sailed the boats 350 miles to Elephant Island.


At this point Shackelton took five men in one 20-foot long lifeboat and made an 800-mile open ocean journey to South Georgia Island where a whaling station was located.  After landing on South Georgia Island his group hiked 36 miles over the mountainous terrain to reach the whaling station.

After reaching the whaling station he immediately set out back to Elephant Island and rescued his stranded crew.  Four and a half months after leaving his men on the island he returned to safely rescue all 22 of his crew.

As I mentioned earlier, Shackelton is credited with this amazing survival story.

Frank_WorsleyThe thing is, it was actually the skills and leadership of the captain of the Endurance, Frank Worsley that saved the men. He was the one who sailed and navigated the ships safely to their destination on each leg of this epic journey. Worsley was the type of leader that avoided the limelight, and was content with just doing his job to the best of his ability.  Few know Frank Worsley’s name… many know the name of Ernest Shackelton.


Worsley was “Leading Up”.

Marketing/ Business Guru, Seth Godin explains “Leading Up” as…

“… creating a reputation and an environment where the people around you are transformed into the bosses you deserve.  When you do this with intention, it gets easier and easier. From afar, it seems impossible, and it will be until you commit to it.”

Someone who is leading up [I have added my comments in the brackets]…

“…takes the right amount of initiative, defers the right amount of credit and orchestrates success. That success might happen despite (not because) of who her bosses [head coach/ athletic director] are, and that’s just fine, because she’s leading up.”

Everyone knows the name Peyton Manning…. The Bronco’s Offensive Coordinator is Adam Gase.

Pete Carroll gets the lions share of credit for the Seahawks Super Bowl victory…. His Defensive Coordinator is Dan Quinn

Ernest Shackelton is a maritime legend but the real hero of the story was Frank Worsley.

They all are examples of “Leading Up

More on leadership at these posts:

You Can Do More… your brain is lying to you…. Don’t Believe It!

Jeff Floyd –

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