When Ernest Shackleton set off to explore the Antarctic, his quest was for fame. When disaster struck and his vessel was trapped in ice, he knew that if his team were to survive he had to adjust his thinking. To make his men feel they were part of group that could not fail, he employed a more human touch to his command. After supper each evening, for example, he walked around to his men's tents to tell stories or play cards. Once, when supplies and morale were equally running low, he ordered up double rations to raise his crew's spirits.
What distinguishes a great leader is how they respond in times of crisis. By embracing uncertainty, great leaders can leverage precarious environments to launch new ideas and try new approaches.