Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage

By Alfred Lansing

I bought the book Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage written by Alfred Lansing because several B-Time podcast guests had recommended it as a good book on leadership.  Endurance is not the standard leadership book written by such notable authors as John Maxwell, Simon Sinek or Daniel Pink.  This book is different in that it affords the reader the opportunity to watch leadership in action.  The book is based on diaries of the men who endured the adventure along with interviews of those that were alive at the time of writing which means you mostly get the crew’s perspective rather than the leader.  Who is a better judge of the leader than the members of the team?

Endurance is the story of E.H. Shackleton and his crew of 27 men whose intent was to walk across the land mass of Antarctica.  The obstacles and challenges they faced in dealing with the natural elements were, by normal standards insurmountable. 

We witness Shackleton’s leadership through small actions as well as large.  The decisions he makes, the rationale for leaning on certain individuals in specific situations – even how he paired men in the tents was intentional.  Shackleton’s calm demeanor carried the crew through dire situations.  Shackleton wasn’t perfect but he came close and his biggest decisions turned out to be lifesaving. 

I am not necessarily a lover of land and sea exploration, but I enjoyed this book.  Even though I knew the outcome, there were moments when I kept reading well after I should have gone to bed because I couldn’t wait to see what would happen next.  If you like adventure, then this book is for you.  You can’t begin to fathom what happened to this team.  Buy the book and settle in because you will be going on an exciting adventure.