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Shackleton's Way: Leadership Lessons from the Great Antarctic Explorer
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Shackleton's Way: Leadership Lessons from the Great Antarctic Explorer

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  1,440 Ratings  ·  130 Reviews
Sir Ernest Shackleton has been called "the greatest leader that ever came on God's earth, bar none" for saving the lives of the twenty-seven men stranded with him in the Antarctic for almost two years. Today the public can't get enough of this once-forgotten explorer, and his actions have made him a model for great leadership and masterful crisis management. Now, through a ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published August 27th 2002 by Penguin Books (first published 1998)
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Omar Halabieh
Jul 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Below are key excerpts from the book that I found particularly insightful:

1- "Shackleton's strategy is the antithesis of the old command-and-control models. His brand of leadership instead values flexibility, teamwork, and individual triumph. It brings back some of the gentlemanliness and decorum of the past, but without the hidden agenda of an exclusionary inner circle. It's business with a human face."

2- "SHACKLETON'S WAY OF DEVELOPING LEADERSHIP SKILLS: -Cultivate a sense of compassion and re
Jun 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I generally do not like historic tales and was hesitant at first to give this book a try. A little ways into the book I was about to call it quits, but given how short it was I decided to continue. This turned out to be a great decision.

The story is told from the perspective of many people that were on the failed (if you can call it that) voyage. Bits of personal journals, interviews, etc. all combine to tell an incredibly fascinating story of personal triumph in the most dire of situations. Int
Vanessa Siemens
Nov 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shackleton was an amazing man and I appreciated how this book wove his personal accomplishments and leadership qualities with the biography of his life.
Marcos Moret
Easy-to-read, memorable and inspiring.
James Hamilton
Apr 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I read this book many, many years ago and it remains my firm favourite on the art of leadership and team building.
If you don't know the story of Ernest Shackleton, he was a repeat Polar Explorer of the frenzy for the pole at the start of the 20th Century, his voyages meant pulling together disparate teams of men (and dogs) to explore the most hostile environments on earth, with the potential for things to go very wrong indeed.

This book takes us through the lessons that Shackleton can teach us th
Feb 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
I read this book as part of a project for one of my college courses. Unbelievably, I had never heard of Ernest Shackleton prior to this. He was a pioneer in Antarctic exploration, but is arguable more famous for getting his entire crew home alive after being stranded on the ice shelf around Antarctica for nearly two years following the sinking of their ship. The story reads like an incredible action/adventure movie.
As the title says, this book is focused on Shackleton's leadership abilities. Sha
Mar 17, 2017 rated it liked it
I had to read this for a management course. It's a very interesting story and shows a lot of useful leadership's tactics, but it's also a tedious and repetitive read. By the end of the book, I was so happy to be done being told how amazing this guy was. I understand it's being told to memorialize this guy, as well as show the things you can learn from him, but after 200 pages of, "This guy was really great. No, not just great. Incredible. Do you understand how great he was? Everyone loved him, a ...more
Jun 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
When I get asked for book recommendations on management and leadership I usually include Andy Grove’s “High Output Management”, Eli Goldratt’s “The Goal”, Stanley McChrystal’s “Team of Teams”, Karl Albrecht’s “The Northbound Train”, and more recently Ray Dalio’s “Principles” (skip to 2nd part of the book). I’ll now include “Shackleton’s Way” which is meticulously researched and includes leadership principles from Ernest Shackleton’s Arctic exploration distilled from his journal and those of his ...more
Sep 29, 2017 rated it liked it
It took me longer than expected to get through this but I'm glad I finished it. Great leadership lessons plus the story of Shackleton and his crew really made it worth while.
Saravana Sastha Kumar
Jul 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
one of the rare books that explains leadership under extreme crisis with real example that is not just anecdotal. most recommended.
Ashley Boyd
May 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Interesting concepts but the writing is dry and difficult to follow.
Jul 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Mark Baines
Nov 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent read. Analysis of the ill fated expedition with insightful commentary. One of the best leadership books.
Aug 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Outstanding book. ties Shackleton's behavior to leadership skills that everyone can use.
Michael Brady
Mar 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Over the years history has come to regard Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton as an explorer of the first rate, eclipsing both Roald Amundson - who may have made polar exploration look too easy when he achieved the South Pole without incident in 1911, and Robert Falcon Scott - who for reasons only the British can explain, was celebrated for reaching the South Pole in 1912, a month after Amundson, and then dying of scurvy, privation, and exposure with his entire party on the return trip.

Shackleton made
Aug 30, 2007 rated it really liked it
The book combines one part leadership guide and one part adventure biography! The authors did a great job of intermixing the two, building suspense during the narrative moments, then bringing the "lesson" in leadership themes back into focus.

A great Navy reading list selection that isn't very long--about 220 pages. Definitely able to read it and jot notes in the margins while on a long TDY or PCS trip! I kept a pencil handy throughout reading it so I could underline good passages and put stars
Joshua Hernandez
Nov 25, 2012 rated it liked it
This story is about a well known Antarctic Explorer named Ernest Shackleton. He was born in 1874 and died in 1922. He was well known for his leadership skills, being able to the life of the crew and always kept his shipmates happy. Many said Shackleton was the greatest leader that ever lived. He loved going on expeditions. The main expedition he always wanted to accomplish was to travel across the Antarctic and go to the South Pole.

As a child Shackleton he was second of the ten children and wa
Sep 19, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: swn, business, non-fiction
The best thing about this book was the font in which it was printed. Versailles. It was beautiful and so airy and easy to read. But enough about that.

Shackleton's Way is about the famous Antarctic explorer at the beginning of the 20th century. He goes down in history as a great leader and is often referenced in leadership talks and seminars. This book acts as both a biography and a leadership book. It fails at both.

The book is set up like this: (1) leadership lessons as headings such as "Shackle
Christopher Litsinger
Sep 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
When someone who works for you recommends that you read a book on leadership, it's pretty much mandatory, I figure.
This is by far the most entertaining book on leadership that I've read; it reads more like a Jon Krakauer book than a business guide. I hadn't known much about Shackleton's Endurance expedition, and it's an inspiring story. I won't claim that "most entertaining" is the same as "best", but this was well worth the read.
The book is deftly assembled, mostly following the expedition in c
Dennison Berwick
Feb 06, 2010 rated it really liked it
How can we become better leaders - even if our team consists only of one? This fascinating book and highly readable book explores the leadership and management style of famed Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton, who brought 27 men home after two years marooned on the ice.

The book tells extraordinary Shackleton’s story and draws the lessons we can learn about hiring and creating camaraderie, leading in a crisis, forming teams for tough assignments, overcoming obstacles and leaving a legacy.
Louise Fisher
Feb 12, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: any
Recommended to Louise by: my father
Awesome book for those who love a great story about endurance and admirable leadership qualities. This guy got all of his crew out of probably the biggest quandary I can think of. They were stranded at the South Pole for nearly two years and never lost hope about their chances of survival. Shackleton did the impossible by constantly supporting and guiding his men through a perilously long journey. They never made it to the South Pole but they lost their boat when it was crushed in the ice and ha ...more
Oct 22, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: aspiring to be a leader
The book was wonderful in showing great qualities of a leader. I would recommend it for anyone going into management. However, if you're reading this purely for the incredible story of Shackleton and survival...stop, read something else or watch either one of two excellent documentaries on video. The only thing that was a turn off and somewhat jovial was that I'm led to believe that the authors created a god and not a man! Oh, I'm not discounting Shackleton's unique and amazing skills of surviva ...more
Sep 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
I read this book for a graduate level course on Leadership and Management. Reading about Shackleton and his failed trips to the Antarctic were interesting and somewhat inspiring. Even though he failed miserably in reaching his initial goals, he was successful in many other things, most notably keeping his entire crew alive even after they were stranded on the ice without a boat for multiple months during an Arctic winter.
Mar 04, 2009 rated it really liked it
This was an interesting combination of adventure story and leadership training with modern examples.

The book is written as almost a self-help book (though overall it is a narrative story telling) on leadership with Shackleton being the model of good leadership. If you are familiar with the Shackleton story, this is a great companion book. It deals more with the personal interaction of Shackleton and his men than overall events (it does give the basic sequence of events).

I would not recommend th
Christina Quinn
Here's my thing about this...I read a lot of business/leadership books. As a result, I have a pretty solid idea of what a good book in that genre should be like. Though there are undoubtedly some interesting leadership lessons to be learned from Shackleton, this book was really just a biography thinly veiled as a "leadership" lesson. With that in mind, I tend to be pretty picky about whose biographies I read, and unfortunately this isn't one I would have picked on my own. Not a terrible book, bu ...more
Bailey Urban
Jan 13, 2016 rated it liked it
Took me 6 months to finish this, but Shackleton is definitely worth studying. It doesn't matter so much that you read this cover to cover, but at the very least read the end of chapter summaries with applications of how executives/leaders today are applying the model of leadership Shackleton set. Lots of nuggets to remember; my favorite quote is, "Optimism is true moral courage." The last two paragraphs of this book really drove the whole point of how well Shackleton led: He never achieved many ...more
I was promoted to a leadership position with a new job I took 6 months ago. Leadership is something I've been studying for the past 3 years and I've been able to finally apply some of what I've been learning. This book is exactly what I needed. I read Shackleton's book years ago and was cognizant of his leadership qualities throughout the book. But it wasn't until reading this that I was able to grasp them in a tangible way. He was a pretty remarkable man, blending a firm mind with concrete goal ...more
Jan 06, 2014 rated it did not like it
This biography is about Ernest Shackleton and his life, featuring stories about his many expeditions around the world, especially Antarctica. Shackleton was an excellent leader and was devoted to the safety of his crew. this book had some excellent leadership points, but it has no flow and only takes fragments of his story to correlate them to a different leadership lesson. This idea was good in theory but makes it extremely boring for the reader. Also, since the chapters are replaced with leade ...more
Chuck Thomas
Aug 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shackleton's Way is an interesting read, blending historical narrative, biography, leadership lessons, and modern business practices. As a supervisor myself, I made note of various leadership traits of Shackleton and how I might be able to apply them in my daily responsibilities. The authors break the chapters up into the following areas of Shackleton's story and then how it's been applied in the modern business world:

-the path to leadership
-hiring an outstanding crew
-creating camaraderie
Feb 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: new or young leaders
The story of Shackelton is fantastic in many ways. Almost too fantastic to believe. But there is little doubt that the survival of Shackleton and his men depended on Shackelton's commitment to leadership and optimism.

Morrell and Capparell tell the story well and integrate their own commentary on his leadership traits almost seemlessly. It's an easy and compelling read.

The leadership traits that the authors highlight are significant new thoughts to an unstudied and young leader. The lessons may
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“Shackleton faced many of the same problems encountered by managers today: bringing a diverse group together to work toward a common goal; handling the constant naysayer; bucking up the perpetual worrier; keeping the disgruntled from poisoning the atmosphere; battling boredom and fatigue; bringing order and success to a chaotic environment; working with limited resources.” 1 likes
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