Polar Explorer, Ann Daniels, was one of the inspirational speakers at our World Class Leadership Summit in Inslington. Here she discusses why you need to be willing to make sacrifices, to ensure you succeed. She discusses the challenges she faced including potentially losing a toe, during her Polar Exploration.
I can remember thinking one time, this is horrific. I can feel the pain and I can feel my other toes getting frostbite and the only way that we could have stopped was to put the tent up, get in there, get the cookers and do nothing and that wasn’t an option. And so I had this bizarre thought. Ok I can feel the frostbite starting on my little toe. OK, I can live without little toe to get to where we want, that’s fine, who needs a little toe anyway? I can feel it on my middle toe. Yeah, I can live without a middle toe, if my big toe starts that’s when I’m not having it. And that’s it – what are you prepared to sacrifice to succeed? No, I’m not expecting people to sacrifice bits of their body. I certainly would never do that again but sometimes you do have to sacrifice and go through some hardships in order to succeed at what you want. Caroline’s fingers. That’s when they’re bad and we didn’t get them when they were really bad they were so bad she couldn’t do anything herself. I would put her clothes on on an eye and give her food and a spoon in her hand to take her gloves off even in the tent. She couldn’t even go to the toilet on her own. Caroline and I are very, very close. But, do you know, it’s easy to give help, be the strong person – doesn’t that make you feel good? What impressed me was Caroline asking for help, to ask somebody to take you to the toilet because you can’t do it. That’s pretty brave I think. For me it was important that I didn’t make her feel bad, to keep her self-worth and also for her so she had to keep hold of it through the most difficult of times. That’s when you know that you’re working well as a team. She carried on pulling her sledge, she didn’t think, ‘What can’t I do?’. She thought about what she could do, and what she could do, she could pull her sledge and that’s what we spoke about how great she was and how strong she was – not the difficulties that she was facing.