Book Notes: South – The Endurance Expedition

In 1914, 28 men sail from England to attempt what no one has ever done:  traverse the Antarctic continent from one side to the other.  But soon, disaster strikes.  Their ship, the aptly named Endurance, is trapped in the ice, then crushed, leaving the explorers stranded on the polar ice cap with no way home.

What follows can only be described as an epic tale of their months-long struggle for survival and the daring leadership that made their escape possible.


South - Ernest Shackleton

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Written by Ernest Shackleton, the commander of the expedition, you get a first-hand account of the struggles and privations the men face.  Ceaseless blizzards, bone-shattering cold, and the constant threat of starvation are only the beginning of their challenges.  To escape, the men must travel hundreds of miles over broken ice floe, and treacherous glacier, though blinding, desolate white wilderness, then hundreds more miles of tempestuous open ocean in a tiny boat.

Yet through it all, Shackleton is able to hold his team together. His strength of character, clear vision, and sheer tenacity serve as a great example for leaders everywhere and in all ages.  SOUTH: The ENDURANCE Expedition is an incredible tale that chronicles the amazing things men can do when well led.

After reading this, when you face challenges as a leader, you can say, “well, at least I’m not stuck on the polar ice cap thousands of miles from home, caught in a blizzard, it’s 40 below, and the food is running out.”  Everything else by comparison will see that much less daunting!

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About the Author: Ken Downer
Ken Downer - Founder RapidStart Leadership

Ken served for 26 years in the Infantry, retiring as a Colonel.  From leading patrols in the Korean DMZ, to parachuting into the jungles of Panama, to commanding a remote outpost on the Iran-Iraq border, he has learned a lot about leadership, and has a passion for sharing that knowledge with others.  Look for his weekly posts, check out his online courses, subscribe below, or simply connect, he loves to talk about this stuff.

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