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Another "Successful Failure"

"Houston, we have a problem."

     Capt. James A. Lovell Jr. has something in common with Shackleton, having been the leader of another famous "successful failure" as NASA dubbed the ill-fated Apollo 13 flight. The 1970 mission never landed on the moon as planned, but with the benefit of level-headed leadership, optimism, determination, and the hard work of all involved it returned to Earth without any loss of life, overcoming nearly impossible odds.

      "People like Shackleton and myself are individuals who can take on challenges, challenges that might include the unexpected," Lovell says. "You go in knowing everything is not going to work, and if you can think of things that can go wrong you can 'think ahead.'"    

     The astronaut reflected on his ordeal in space during a trip to the Antarctic in January 2000 to visit the National Science Foundation's station at the South Pole. Beforehand, Capt. Lovell had read about Shackleton and what he calls his "miraculous leadership" he showed in rescuing the crew of the Endurance.

     "I think he took the same attitude we took on Apollo 13. You have to look forward as long as there is a chance," Capt. Lovell says of the Antarctic explorer.

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Shackleton on the Moon

Shackleton crater at the South Pole of the moon.

At the suggestion of the International Astronomical Union, the crater at the South Pole of the moon was named "Shackleton" as a tribute to the great Antarctic explorer.

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Celebrating Apollo 11

Gene Kranz, former Flight Director, NASA,

back at Mission Control.


For an author, life doesn't get any better than this...


"Shackleton's Way is filled with gritty examples on the nature of high risk leadership. The characteristics of leadership by example, teambuilding and the spirit needed to overcome great obstacles and sustain a team under stress are well defined in Shackleton's Way. This book would have been required reading for my flight directors and mission controllers."

Gene Kranz, former Flight Director, NASA

Author, NYT bestseller Failure Is Not an Option

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Welcome to the new Shackleton's Way website. . .

As soon as I work out a few kinks, I'll be blogging about Shackleton, leadership, Reagan, careers and overcoming challenges. See you soon!

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