Great leaders are able to manage their emotions and avoid emotional outbursts that could damage relationships with their staff.  Shackleton was the master of conflict resolution: He avoided emotional outbursts. He would gently point out the reason why it should be done a different way.  He would only tell staff off in private and when this was done it was normally in a careful manner.

He did not like all of his team members.  One team member stole personal possessions left in the ice.  During the difficult 18 months, he worked with everyone.  Only on returning to England did he truly punish those who had crossed the line of acceptable behaviour.  He did not permit them to be holders of the Polar medal.

Shackleton’s view was: “If they fail, it is because I have not trained them well enough or should not have recruited them.”  In other words, he took the blame.

Shackleton was able to manage his anger and frustration.  Many times, he had seen leaders letting go at the subordinates and had promised himself never to be like that.He had the capability of choosing not to get angry.

When you possess this mechanism, you realize that anger does not help; the emotional damage caused by the outburst cannot be healed quickly and in some cases the damage done can never be repaired. I am sure readers can recall, as if it was yesterday, emotional outbursts directed at them over ten years ago. The apology cannot wipe away the memory.

If you have an anger-management problem, the behavioural change takes around 12 weeks of constant modification.  I know, as I went through a behaviour-change program myself.

You may wish to read an extract from my Winning Leadership Whitepaper, this paper can be purchased from my website.