Lori's Reviews > The Endurance

The Endurance by Caroline Alexander
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Feb 09, 12

bookshelves: autobiographical
Read in January, 2012

Another of the books I read for my group dynamics class. We analyzed what it was about Shackelton that made him such a great leader in the face of adversity. The account exemplified qualities of effective leadership as well as important characteristics of group members.
Donald H. McGannon said: “Leadership is action, not position.” I found this quote to be very applicable to the message behind this book. Shackleton acted with determination as he made the welfare of his men his number one goal. He acted with optimism as he made difficult decisions that continued to unite the group. He was proactive in his outlook, knowing that it was important to keep everyone engaged with a purpose while still making the situation as pleasant as possible. His actions provide a powerful model.

Along the same line of thinking, the crew of the Endurance also provided important examples of characteristics that are part of a cohesive and powerful group. This group of men was diverse in their skills, knowledge and experience; each had a purpose or specialty that proved to be significant with the different situations of the voyage. As a group they were united in their desire to experience the wonders of their journey, they were all devoted to “the boss” and committed to their final goal – to survive. These characteristics are an important part understanding the dynamics of group situations.
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