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Shackleton's Way: Leadership Lessons from the Great Antarctic Explorer Paperback – 31 Jan 2003

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Nicholas Brealey Publishing (31 Jan. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857883187
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857883183
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 1.8 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 105,900 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'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

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First Sentence
WHEN ERNEST SHACKLETON WAS AT THE ZENITH OF HIS popularity as an explorer, he was invited back to his boys' school, Dulwich College in London, to present some academic honors. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By I. Menmuir on 2 Feb. 2004
Format: Paperback
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 By Steven Unwin on 14 Feb. 2009
Format: Paperback
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 By A Customer on 5 Sept. 2005
Format: Paperback
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 By Book Worm on 22 Sept. 2006
Format: Paperback
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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