Michael’s greatest hero is Sir Ernest Shackleton and specifically his legendary Antarctic expedition of 1914-1916. Shackleton is a tremendous role model of teamwork that many individuals and global organisations refer to and learn from in business today, not least Michael who attracted the patronage of the Honourable Alexandra Shackleton (Sir Ernest’s grand-daughter) for his South Pole expedition.
In wanting to understand the real importance of teamwork, especially when operating in the extreme environments of the Arctic and the Antarctic, Michael’s own team couldn’t have been more diverse. Like Shackleton, Michael conducted a number of highly unconventional interviews to find unique talent and he looked for the attributes of optimism, cheerfulness, courage, patience and physical endurance in potential candidates. In Michael’s case, teamwork was directly linked to his own physical well-being and his survival.
Unorthodox recruitment methodologies involved personality profiling, behavioural observation and analysis as well as 1:1 interviews, conducted in part at the Hammersmith Hospital in London where Michael’s annual “MOT” used to take place. This focused activity resulted in identifying the right blend of complementary skills and attributes that Michael was looking for and candidates joined him in open discussion whilst he underwent a series of tests involving both electrocardiogram, CT Scans and a nuclear heart scan (known specifically as myocardial viability testing). Unusual you might think but remember that Michael was looking for team members that he could trust with his life! As evidenced by Michael’s own unique achievements, teams that 'trust' and are 'honest with each other' from the outset, who work tirelessly together towards a common goal will accomplish and prevail.