Showing posts from January, 2012

Shackleton on Leadership - being the fellow other fellows follow!

On the 90th anniversary of Shackleton’s death at the start of January I blogged a little taster of his story – it can be summed up by the words, ‘glorious failure’.
However, as an inspirational leader of men, Shackleton was a success in every way. His leadership methods, unorthodox and frowned upon in his day, were probably the difference between life and death for most of his men.

Over the last week or so I’ve been reading Shackleton’s Way – Leadership Lessons from the Great Arctic Explorer by Margot Morrell . This interesting account, gives some of Shackleton’s own thoughts on leadership. If you know anything of his incredible adventures, these quotes will leave you in awe of his leadership capacity and drawn into the personal battles and unceasing daily pressures which lay behind the legend:

‘There are lots of good things in the world, but I’m not sure that comradeship is not the best of them all – to know that you can do something big for another chap.’

‘Optimism is true moral courag…

Mega cities, global trends and a wake up call!

In the year 1800 when we were at the height of our industrial revolution in England, only 3% of the world's population lived in cities. By the year 2100 this is expected to have rocketed to 90%
Today, the Economist reports that China's city dwellers now outnumber it's rural residents. Of China's 1.35 billion people, 51.3% lived in urban areas by the end of 2011. What happened for us in Europe relatively slowly, is now exploding in the developing world at an unprecedented pace.

The figures in last week's blog show that by 2050 all of the world's top 10 most populous cities will be in Asia or Africa. Shanghai and Tokyo are the only current large cities which will feature on the list that we would call in any way developed. These new mega cities promise to be sprawling masses of low cost housing, close to high risk industry. Massive poverty colliding with a huge migration of people groups. Previously separate cultures and religions living in close proximity but sple…

The rise of the mega-city & the demise of the west.

I’ve been doing some thinking and study about the growing urbanisation of the world, and considering some of the changes and trends that will emerge over the next few decades. One of the most interesting things however is just the stand alone stats for the numbers in our emerging mega cities.

Look at these changes:

Top 10 Cities in 2000
1/ Tokyo, Japan 28m
2/Mexico City, Mexico 18m
3/ Mumbai, India, 18m
4/ Sao Paulo, Brazil 17m
5/ New York, USA 17m
6/ Shanghai, China 14m
7/ Lagos, Nigeria 13m
8/ Los Angeles, USA 13m
9/ Kolkata, India 13m
10/ Buenos Aires, Arg 12m

Top 10 Cities in 2025
1/ Mumbai, India 30m
2/ Lagos, Nigeria 30m
3/ Tokyo, Japan 29m
4/ Karachi, Pakistan 25m
5/ Dhaka, Bangladesh 24m
6/ Kolkata, India 21m
7/ Mexico City, Mexico 21m
8/ Sao Paulo, Brazil 21m
9/ Shanghai, China 21m

Top 10 Cities in 2050
1/ Lagos, Nigeria 64m
2/ Mumbai, India 50m
3/ Karachi, Pakistan 50m
4/ Dhaka, Banglade…

Shackleton, glorious failure & a life well lived!

On this day in 1922 one of my heroes died. Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton, polar explorer and perhaps the last of the breed of boys own explorers to emerge from the late Victorian period.
His most famous exploits live on in legend, but he actually failed to reach his goal on every expedition he set out on. But what glorious failure, what magnificent near misses! ‘I love the fight and when things are easy I hate it’ he once wrote in a letter home to his wife Emily.

In 1902, serving on an expedition to the South Pole with Scott, he was sent ahead on a three man team, which finally only turned back 460 miles from the Pole, in the kind of temperatures that no man on earth was equipped to experience at the time.

In 1908 Shackleton tried again, this time at the head of his own private expedition, having begged and borrowed sponsorship in ever creative ways. Always a great team leader, Shackleton put his fellow men above his personal glory, turning back this time an agonising 97 miles short of th…