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Shackleton's Way: Leadership Lessons from the Great Antarctic Explorer Paperback – August 27, 2002
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A British explorer once summarized the feats of the great Antarctic explorer like this: "For a joint scientific and geographical piece of organization, give me Scott; for a winter journey, give me Wilson, for a dash to the Pole and nothing else, Amundsen; and if I am in the devil of a hole and want to get out of it, give me Shackleton every time." His words set the tone for Shackleton's Way, at once both a travel narrative and a handbook of the skills required for effective leadership of diverse groups, especially in times of change and crisis. Shackleton's attempts to reach the South Pole and his two-year fight for the survival of his crew, when their ship is stranded in ice and then sunk, makes for exciting reading. Using this story as the centerpiece of their book, the authors have woven in their interpretation of his success using interviews with exceptional modern leaders such as Mike Dale, Jaguar's former chief of North American operations, and Apollo 13 Commander James Lovell, and by offering useful advice points at the end of each chapter. For example, in the chapter entitled "The Path to Leadership," Shackleton is shown to have been a well-read man, eager to learn and able to mix with varied company. The authors support this by noting that broadening one's horizons and learning to see things from different perspectives will allow for greater flexibility in problem solving. U.S. Secretary of the Navy Richard Danzig agrees that a level of well roundedness is vital in leaders, acknowledging that "one of my prime aims in distributing books is to get people to think outside themselves and to think broadly."
Morrell and Capparell's excellent use of archival material (especially crew diaries) and their intelligent interpretation of what Shackleton's story implies about good leaders makes this book both pleasurable and educational. Throughout the story of the explorer's exploits, the authors have inserted summarizing subtitles that succinctly capture Shackleton's leadership style. Occasionally, this seems a little strained; while the explorer's progressive attitudes and actions deserve praise as leadership lessons par excellence, even some of his misjudgments are referred to with something approaching reverence. For the most part, however, the authors employ a subtle and effective hand in translating the actions of a man at the helm of a dangerous adventure into advice beneficial to leaders in all areas of life. --S. Ketchum --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
I do have a slight criticism, an important lesson in leadership was skipped - balance. Shackleton's ability to coach and encourage, listen and build a sense of community, and focus on meeting the needs of others while developing and bringing out the best in them did not extend to his family. The authors Morrell and Capparell do mention his neglected family. However it was glazed over and they failed to offer insight on how we the reader might learn from this shortcoming. Clearly he was a self-directed and other-focused man, but he lacked balance. He devoted his life to his work and crew while his family settled for scraps of time and attention. It is important that we learn from success and failure, not just the stuff that makes for great TV and/or big screen movies.
While Shackleton's Way was admittedly a bit dry at times, I thoroughly enjoyed the mixture of history and practical applications of servant leadership in today's business world. The book provides a glimmer of hope in light of the recent corporate ethics scandals. I am impressed by Shackleton's pioneer sprit in exploration and leadership. He certainly did not have Covey, Greenleaf, Hunter or Autry to reference. How lucky we are to have Sir Ernest.
Whether you are searching for a historical biography, travel journal, adventure story or a desktop guide to servant leadership you just might find something more than you bargained for in Shackleton's Way.
If you don't know the story, let me outline a few details. During World War I, Sir Ernest led a small expedition to Antarctica from England in an attempt to cross that continent through the South Pole. The pole itself had already been reached by Amundsen and Scott. En route to land, the expedition's ship, Endurance, became locked in the pack ice. The crew drifted with the ice for over 10 months before the ship was crushed by the ice. Pulling lifeboats over the ice, the men reached open sea more than five months later. They reached a small island, Elephant Island, where most of the men remained while Sir Ernest and a few men made an 800 mile three week sea voyage to their starting point, South Georgia Island. Arriving there, they faced a horrible trek over almost impassable terrain to get to the settlement. Sir Ernest immediately left to rescue the men left behind on Elephant Island. All those on board the Endurance survived.
Throughout this rescue, Sir Ernest proved himself to be resourceful, flexible, considerate, and indomitable.
Shackleton's Way recounts Sir Ernest's life, and summarizes key points about his leadership style. Each chapter ends with a commentary by someone who learned from Sir Ernest's experiences to be a better leader.
As a leadership book, Shackleton's Way has a number of weaknesses. First, leadership and management are not separated.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great read and truely remarkable leadership stories! Great book to own as a leader to reference in your day to day management meetingsPublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
A great, inspiring story with well summarized leadership lessons. I've read several books on Shackleton's story and this one is my favorite. Read morePublished 4 months ago by S Mack
Fun way to review different leadership skills and lessons. Excellent to pair with the book Endurance, also about Ernst ShackletonPublished 4 months ago by McKenzie G
As far as leadership books go, this is one that is worth your while. "Shackleton's Way" tells the story of Ernest Shackleton using semi-chronological vignettes of his expeditions... Read morePublished 8 months ago by svs