Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure alignment spacer
alignment spacer Shackleton's Leadership Role
Profile of Shackleton's Leadership Example
Black & white image of crew hauling the James Caird.alignment spacer In his recent book, Leading at the Edge: Leadership Lessons from the Extraordinary Saga of Shackleton's Antarctic Expedition, Dennis Perkins outlines 10 leadership strategies that can be learned from Sir Ernest Shackleton's leadership example.

They are:

1. Never lose sight of the ultimate goal, and focus energy on short-term objectives.

2. Set a personal example with visible, memorable symbols and behaviors.

3. Instill optimism and self-confidence, but stay grounded in reality.

4. Take care of yourself: Maintain your stamina and let go of guilt.

5. Reinforce the team message constantly: "We are one—we live or die together."

6. Minimize status differences and insist on courtesy and mutual respect.

7. Master conflict—deal with anger in small doses, engage dissidents, and avoid needless power struggles.

8. Find something to celebrate and something to laugh about.

9. Be willing to take the Big Risk.

10. Never give up—there's always another move.

In addition to presenting Shackleton's leadership as the context for these 10 strategies, Perkins uses modern case studies to support each.

Leading at the Edge: Leadership Lessons from the Extraordinary Saga of Shackleton's Antarctic Expedition is published by AMACOM, a division of American Management Association, reprinted with permission of the author.

Dennis Perkins is president of The Syncretics Group, a consultancy that focuses on effective leadership in demanding environments. For more information about Dennis Perkins and Leading at the Edge, visit his website at

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About the Film
Sir Ernest Shackleton and the Endurance Expedition
Shackleton's Leadership Role
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Profile of Shackleton's Leadership Example

Interview with Dennis Perkins, Author of Leading at the Edge
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About Antarctica and the Subantarctic
Where to See the Film
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Photo Credits: Frank Hurley, Courtesy of The Macklin Collection

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