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Shackleton's Way: Leadership Lessons from the Great Antarctic Explorer [Kindle Edition]

Margot Morrell , Stephanie Capparell , Alexandra Shackleton
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

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Book Description

In 1914, Sir Ernest Shackleton led 27 men, for almost two years, through a harrowing fight for their lives after the wreck of their Antarctic vessel, Endurance, left them stranded on an ice floe 1200 miles from civilization. But every man survived. And every man ascribed it to Shackleton's superb leadership. Nearly a century later, this once-overlooked explorer is riding a wave of 'Shackleton mania'. Yet nowhere have the secrets of Shackleton's leadership success been fully analysed. Shackleton's Way draws on anecdotes, crew diaries, contemporary material and interviews with some of today's leaders to illustrate Shackleton's tactics. Here readers will learn how to manage crises with limited personnel and resources, how to create order out of chaos, how to hire good workers, how to support and inspire employees to do their best, and how to lead by personal example – with optimism, egalitarianism, humour, strength, ingenuity, intelligence and compassion. Shackleton's Way is a fascinating and practical case study of a leader who triumphed by putting people first and striving for the seemingly impossible. "Reading this book is a must… Shackleton's Way for the first time analyses Shackleton's skills in leadership in a way that is entirely relevant to every businessman today." —Sir John Harvey-Jones "A leadership handbook that reads like an adventure story. Margot Morrell and Stephanie Capparell... show how successful military leaders, dot-com entrepreneurs, investment bankers, educators, corporate executives and even an astronaut have patterned themselves on the incomparable Antarctic explorer. Better yet, they have neatly codified his winning strategies for the rest of us." —Dava Sobel, author of Longitude

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'I recall the moment as vividly as if I had lived it myself: Ernest Shackleton stands before me, exhorting the stranded Endurance crew to jettison every ounce of unnecessary weight so we can run for our lives across the Antarctic pack ice. For emphasis and example, 'The Boss' tosses his own gold cigarette case into the snow. Using the Endurance saga as a case history, Margot Morrell and Stephanie Capparell have turned a thirteen-year analysis of Shackleton's effective methods into a leadership handbook that reads like an adventure story. They show how successful military leaders, dot com entrepreneurs, investment bankers, educators, corperate executives, and even an astronaut have patterned themselves on the incomparable Antarctic explorer. Better yet, they have neatly codified his winning strategies for the rest of us.' —Dava Sobel, author of Longitude and Galileo's Daughter

'Reading this book is a must... Shackleton's Way for the first time analyses Shackleton's skills in leadership in a way that is entirely relevant to every businessman today. Margot Morrell and Stephanie Capparell have done us a service by their practical analysis of the lessons we can all learn from Shackleton's way of doing things. I thought I knew everything there was to know about his expeditions, trials and tribulations, yet I still found my attention drawn to aspects of his leadership that I had previously undervalued.' —Sir John Harvey-Jones, Management Today

'An inspirational leadership manual... as well as analysing Shackleton's skills, the book profiles several extremely successful people, ranging from astronauts to e-commerce entrepreneurs, who describe how they have been motivated by his example.' —The Sunday Times

'A case-study in leadership...the story is gripping and impressive...In effect, this is three books in one: the biography; useful lists of leadership behaviours and the business case for emulating Shackletone's leadership style. Read any one of these and it is worthwhile; read all three and a viable personal development plan becomes a strong possibility.' —People Managament

'If you must lead through crisis and uncertainty - and who doesn't these days? - you must read this book. Shackleton's Way reveals the true leadership lessons of the 20th Century's greatest unsung hero. And unlike most business books, this one is full of excitement, emotion and true literary elegance.' --Thomas Petzinger Jr., former Front Lines columnist, The Wall Street Journal, author of two New York Times Notable Books and CEO of LaunchCyte LLC

'Shackleton's story captures the true essence of leadership: to help each person achieve their best in order to work together to achieve what some view as the impossible. The lessons in this book are timely and invaluable.' —Patrick T. Harker, Dean, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

'Shackleton's Way is filled with gritty examples on the nature of high risk leadership. The characteristics of leadership by example, teambuilding and the spirit needed to overcome great obstacles and sustain a team under stress are well defined in Shackleton's Way. This book would have been required reading for all my flight directors and mission controllers.' —Gene Krantz, former Flight Director, NASA, and author of the New York Times bestselling Failure is Not an Option

'More than an adventure story. It identifies Shakleton's techniques and translates them into practical lessons for business people.' --The Independent

About the Author

Margot Morrell has been a student of Shackleton's life for more than sixteen years and has a master's degree in library science. She has worked in corporate America for twenty-four years. Stephanie Capparell, a journalist for more than twenty years, is an editor for The Wall Street Journal's 'Marketplace' page. She has a master's degree in international affairs. Both women live in New York City

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1005 KB
  • Print Length: 260 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0142002364
  • Publisher: Nicholas Brealey Publishing (11 Jan. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004H4XBHO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #141,707 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If more 'leaders' learnt lessons... 2 Feb. 2004
A fantastic book and inspirational lessons; I have read many books on both leadership, exploration and Shackleton and was inspired by Shackleton's Way as I was the first time I read about him.
The 'lessons' at the end of each chapter are excellent and allow the book to act as a direct, useful reference.
Anyone who is or is striving to become, or already is, a 'leader' of an organisation should read this. It will inspire and provide you with thought from day one.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some great leadership insights 14 Feb. 2009
The subtitle to this book is `Leadership Lessons from the Great Antarctic Explorer'. I have to confess that I knew very little of the life and exploits of Ernest Shackleton but my interest was stirred by a conversation some months ago with a friend Richard Coles who extolled Shackleton's strengths as a leader. When I came across this book it seemed the perfect opportunity to find out more about a real explorer and I was not disappointed.

Ernest Shackleton is less well known than his contemporary Scott perhaps because his greatest achievement was a failure, but it's how he dealt with the situations that the failure threw at him that mark him out as an extraordinary leader, in many ways ahead of his time. The book tells the story of the Endurance expedition to Antarctica which set sail in August 1914. By January 1915 Endurance had come within one days sailing of its planned landing spot when it became frozen in. At first the team holed up in the Endurance to live out the Antarctic winter, itself not a particularly attractive proposition but when in October 1915 the shifting Ice began to crush and eventually sink their ship the story changes from one of exploration to one of survival on the floating ice. The men were more than a thousand miles from any other human beings and hundreds of miles from terra firma.

The book reveals the astonishing story of how Shackleton led his team of 27 men on an incredible journey to safety. It gives a sense of the incredible hardships faced by the men in a truly inhospitable environment.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterpiece on Leadership 5 Sept. 2005
By A Customer
What makes a leader? Reading this book will not give you a "final answer" but will get you quite close....
Indeed, no-one (or book or otherwise) could claim to have a comprehensive and concluding view of the leadership conundrum. Leadership is part of the essence of humanity, as much coming from innate character as acquired by learning and experience.
Shackleton's way gives us a "phenomenological" representation of leadership: a view of a leader in action from which we can take our own lessons.
There are indeed many checklists in this book, conveniently at the end of most chapters, to summarise "Shackleton's Way" to Leadership. Yet the best and most enduring lessons will be learnt by going through the book, trying to get into the shoes of Mr Shackleton and his people stranded on the Antarctica ice pack, with their misery, their pain and their joys for their infrequent - but crucial! - successes. Their journey offers one of the best testimony of what Leadership is all about.
Get through this book, and I will be very hard pressed to believe it will not make a lasting difference in your way of understanding Leadership in the future.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great story - but a bit rose-tinted 22 Sept. 2006
Thoroughly enjoyed reading this book - it zips along with the famous "escape from the ice back to safety" epic. Shackleton was clearly the perfect man for such a desperate trek to safety. We can only stand in awe of his achievements, so much so that we almost forget that he never actually reached the south pole in his life-time.

There are many helpful insights into Shackleton's leadership style, which any young "leader" (in business or in any team structure) would find helpful - BUT - and it is a big but - We are fools to imagine that all of life is like Shackleton's adventure down south!!! This is where the book is a bit simplistic and seems to offer us too much. We must remember that Shackleton was famous as the man who escaped from death in an incredible situation. The other sad aspect of the book is the cartoon cut-out caricature it makes of Robert Scott. I imagine this book draws heavily on the Scott as tyrant, failure myth created almost single-handedly by Roland Huntford (1979 book). Sadly, this pathetic image of Scott has been circulated around the world by Huntford's vitriolic and pathological hatred of Scott, put down in print in his book. So in The Shackleton way, Scott is terrible at just about everything and Shackleton is brilliant! This gets more than a bit galling after a time. So sometimes one feels the book is a bit simplistic.

Having given that caveat, I imagine that almost anyone interested in either team-work, leadership or antarctic exploration will not enjoy this book - just keep thinking as you read and don't fall for the "Shackleton is the greatest ever" spin!

PS - If you want an excellent biography of Scott - Ranulph Fiennes, "Captain Scott," is 1st rate.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Published 3 months ago by AFRogers
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very happy with product
Published 8 months ago by tyke
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A very good read about an inspiring man
Published 9 months ago by J Lee
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Takes some getting into
Published 9 months ago by Mrs. Robina C. Morris
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
really good read
Published 14 months ago by Dave
5.0 out of 5 stars A management development favourite of mine
This book is so easy to read and gain the insight from. The story of Shackleton is unbelievably inspirational and uplifting and the lessons we can take from it in relation to... Read more
Published 19 months ago by G. Todd
5.0 out of 5 stars Bought as a gift
I haven't read this myself, although I was tempted, as it was bought as a Christmas present. One of several requests, I understand my grandson has really enjoyed this... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Mazda
5.0 out of 5 stars Read This!
A must for anyone interested in leadership. The book explains what he did, how he did it, and why. And the results. A true hero is dismantled and examined . Read more
Published 19 months ago by Roger D Thompson
5.0 out of 5 stars Leadership and adventure
I loved the book. Analysed a true story and provided an insight of the thinking mechanics that les to such an achievement in a hash environment.
Published on 25 July 2013 by Dimitris
5.0 out of 5 stars Tired of the usual leadership books? Read this!
I've been reading a lot of different leadership books recently and they're so dry and theoretical. Here's a book that not only brings the subject to life and is a gripping read,... Read more
Published on 22 Jun. 2013 by J CASSIDY
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