Diary Ends. Bowers ceased writing in his diary some time ago, Wilson and Oates more recently, only Scott now keeps going. Their feet are cold which means that their hands are getting cold as well. Fiennes states that. ‘writing a diary demands fingers unprotected by mitts and by February there would have been few fingers left between Scotts men that were not painfully spilt about the cuticle and nails or raw from burst frost blisters’.
Scott’s Journal 29th February 1912. The minimum temperature was -37. Bowers and Oates wore new finnesko’s to help keep their feet warm but Scott stayed in in his old ones. They endured an ‘awful march’ at the start but things improved. They have food and Scott is allowing extra rations but the fuel may only just make it to the next depot.
Commentary. Stoic, brave, cheerful, never complaining, relentless, these are the terms repeatedly used at this point in the journey to describe the men. It changes over time, they become silent and withdrawn intensely managing their own thoughts as they become resolved to their destiny. The smaller, more recognisable, leader and team dynamics that we witnessed earlier, and can often see in our own environment, are no longer present. Very few leaders will find themselves in the life threatening moment that Scott now faces, this is a team in crisis and the small stuff no longer seems to matter in the same way it once did. When all the team has access to is the ‘small stuff’ then the petty behaviours we see everyday become the normal internal functioning of the team. In order for a team to move out of ‘small stuff’ mentality they need to be trusted, empowered, given responsibility, listened to and included. The leader who is secretive, closed, not accessible and unable to share their thoughts and ideas invites criticism and low level and small squabbles appear. All teams have an element of disagreement, rivalry and competition but they can be minimised and even transformed into healthy behaviours through empowerment & responsibility. The leader to be watchful of is the one who deliberately creates ambiguity, rivalry and mistrust in the team. They may get short term results and may even feed their own ego as these behaviours create individual clashes that need to be resolved. This type of leader breaks things so they can be seen to fix things, they create victims for them to rescue.