BOOKS: The book that shook Charles Matthews

BOOKS: The book that shook Charles Matthews - 'Few events better illustrate the triumph of mankind in adversity than the escape to safety from Antarctica by Sir Ernest Shackleton and his expeditionary team some 90 years ago. Shackleton's Way, by Margot Mo

by CHARLES MATTHEWS, CEO of Alcatel UK

'Few events better illustrate the triumph of mankind in adversity than the escape to safety from Antarctica by Sir Ernest Shackleton and his expeditionary team some 90 years ago. Shackleton's Way, by Margot Morrell and Stephanie Capparell, is a gripping and heroic tale of outstanding leadership and management.

The authors, one a historian, the other a journalist, analyse these skills through the story of Shackleton's life. It is a well-structured and enjoyable read and brings home the point that there is nothing new about what is required for good management.

As the ice crushed his ship, the Endurance, Shackleton said to his team: 'Ship and stores have gone, so now we'll go home.' And home they all went, reaching safety several months later. This required great attention to detail, critical planning and powerful leadership, all at a time of extreme physical hardship. Asked 60 years later how they had survived, the first officer said: 'Shackleton.'

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