When making plans for the Trans-Antarctic Expedition of 1914, Ernest Shackleton was already an established and savvy explorer who knew the tastes of both victory and a demoralizing defeat. He has been beaten by Amundsen to be the first person to reach the South Pole, and he set his sights on completing the feat of being the first to cross the continent of Antarctica, from the Weddell Sea, through the pole, all the way to the Ross Sea. He understood that the expedition will be extremely hard and dangerous, and did not obscure that fact in his newspaper advertisement that called for perspective members. And this stroke of his leadership genius might be what allowed all the men to survive, sans one foot of poor Blackboro.
If Shackleton picked his men based on their intellectual merit or skills, who knows if there would be enough motivation and spirit between them to power through what seems like 17 months in the frozen hell. Shackleton's decision to choose men driven by the spirit of adventure rather than monetary or personal gains might have been the most important one, and the now famous newspaper ad allows us a glimpse into how leadership genius can express itself in just a few words.