BOOKS: The book that shook Richard Harvey

BOOKS: The book that shook Richard Harvey - 'In August 1914, Sir Ernest Shackleton set sail to capture for Britain the first Antarctic crossing. Disaster strikes - his ship is caught in ice and is slowly crushed. The Endurance by Caroline Alexander captur

by RICHARD HARVEY, group chief executive of CGNU plc
Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

'In August 1914, Sir Ernest Shackleton set sail to capture for Britain the first Antarctic crossing. Disaster strikes - his ship is caught in ice and is slowly crushed. The Endurance by Caroline Alexander captures in text and in stunning photographs - by the expedition photographer, Frank Hurley - an incredible story of survival.

Shackleton's leadership ensures survival despite hopeless odds. He leads his team through an Antarctic winter using equipment which, by today's standards, would barely suffice for a walk in the Lake District.

When spring arrives, they manage to haul their tiny lifeboats over the ice-flow to Elephant Island. With three others, Shackleton then achieves the feat of sailing across the Atlantic to South Georgia in a lifeboat, using the most rudimentary navigation equipment. He makes probably the first land crossing of this mountainous island to reach the whaling station from which he departed.

Apart from Shackleton's courage and endurance, his decisions, motivation and leadership shine more vividly than any management textbook I have read.'

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