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Shackleton's Way: Leadership Lessons from the Great Antarctic Explorer Paperback – August 27, 2002
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A first-rate business primer. -- Publishers Weekly
About the Author
Margot Morrell, a twenty-year veteran of corporate America, has worked in financial services and consulting. Her research into Shackleton's leadership has taken her to such far-flung destinations as Antarctica, Australia, and Argentina.
Stephanie Capparrell, a journalist for more than twenty years, is an editor for the Wall Street Journal's Marketplace page.
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Divided into 8 chapters, the book begins by chronicling Shackleton’s path to leadership, delving into his family background, upbringing, and how his early career laid the foundation for his leadership. Chapter 2 explores how Shackleton selected and vetted his crew for his voyage aboard the Endurance. Chapter 3 discusses how Shackleton created a spirit of camaraderie aboard his ship and how he was progressive in how he broke down the traditional hierarchies aboard ships to build that camaraderie. Chapter 4 shows how Shackleton drew out the best of each individual crew member and how he helped each crewman reach their potential. Chapter 5 reveals how Shackleton effectively lead in the midst of crisis and created a spirit of optimism during the worst of times. Chapter 6 examines Shackleton’s expertise at forming teams for challenging assignments and situations. Chapter 7 demonstrates Shackleton’s ability to take charge and take calculated risks to save his crew and overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Chapter 8 concludes the book with a look at Shackleton’s legacy as an explorer, as a leader, and as an inspiration to his loyal crew and modern day leaders.
Each chapter weaves together the harrowing adventure and tales of Shackleton’s exploration aboard his ship the Endeavor to the Arctic, punctuating each incident with examples of his leadership style. Each chapter connects the story and uses aspects of each stage of his journey to highlight different aspects of Shackleton’s leadership style and highlight lessons that can be learned from the examples he set. At the end of each chapter is a bullet pointed list that highlights the strategies and style of Shackleton’s leadership. Following each of these lists is a modern day example of someone who was inspired by Shackleton and modelled their leadership after his example, such as Jim Lovell of the failed Apollo 13 mission.
For me, the best part of this book was the repeated theme that, although Shackleton’s voyages as an Arctic explore were largely unsuccessful, his ability to inspire and lead by example continued to breed optimism into his crew and, ultimately, saved the lives of everyone on the Endurance. His optimism and preparation were boundless and allowed him to be a great leader who was a master of crisis management. Modern day leaders can learn from Shackleton’s examples of how to lead with loyalty, discipline, unselfishness, courage, optimism, and intelligence.