Shackleton served as an apprentice for four difficult years in the merchant navy but during that time, he learned lessons that he put into action and served him well for the rest of his life.

From Shackleton's Way...

"Even after Shackleton became an explorer famous for his incredible stamina, he would speak with pride of how he made it through his difficult initiation to life on the sea and seemed always to carry some sympathy for the suffering apprentice he had been. Years of unhappy apprenticeship had hardened him and at the same time made him more compassionate toward those who became ill, miserable, or homesick. He learned other lessons he never forgot: that a good boss could make the burden of work seem lighter, that refusing to use the best tools available unfairly burdens workers, and that one person could change an entire work environment."

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