According to some, Apollo 11 was the greatest adventure in human history. The 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 launch tells a great deal about the capabilities of the United States, the miracle of science, the engineering masterpiece, and the commitment of the NASA team. In addition, Apollo 11 teaches us important leadership lessons that are still practical. These leadership lessons are beyond time and circumstances. Corporate executives and corporate board members can learn these lessons well from this great event. Learn more about the leadership lessons you can learn from Apollo 11.
1. Dreams can come true
John. F. Kennedy (President of the United States from 1961 to 1963) spoke of the Apollo dream in a speech known as the “Speech of the Moon.” “We decided to go to the moon by the end of this decade,” he said in a few inspiring sentences, pointing to the difficulties along the way. Not because it’s easy; But because it is hard work. “So we have to be brave in this way.”
After 57 years, the motivation, courage, and daydreaming that Kennedy instilled in others are essential tools by which leaders can bring their organizations to the highest levels of success. Organizational growth is not possible without the use of these tools.
2. The importance of teamwork
The three Apollo 11 astronauts were not close friends. They had different personalities: Armstrong was cold-tempered, Aldrin was grumpy and violent, Collins was comfortable and happy. But despite all the differences, the three were able to get along. They were able to succeed in difficult situations through teamwork and interaction with each other.
Leaders do not have to be intimate with their colleagues to be effective. They need to be accepted and respected by their colleagues in the work they provide.
3. Self Confidence
The first passengers of the moon, despite being aware of the dangers, believed in their own devices: Saturn 5 launch devices, LM combustion engine, extrasolar launch system and re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere and detachment of the cap. Even NASA’s well-known and reliable ٪ 99.9 standards could go wrong. Nevertheless, they proceeded with confidence as well as confidence in the competence of the technical staff and efforts to minimize design risks.
The more organizational leaders have a commitment to quality, safety, and risk management, the better executives can perform high-pressure tasks.
4. What matters is what is done, not fame
The landing on the moon was not because of Michael Collins, but it was he who orbited the moon alone and waited hopefully for Armstrong and Aldrin to return from the lunar walk. He was less proud, and history does not treat him as a prominent figure. But he had no problem with these issues.
Certainly every organization needs leaders who do their job and are part of a bigger effort, while giving more honors to others.
5. Command in sensitive situations
Myths are true. Armstrong actually landed the spacecraft manually with 16 seconds left to run. Falling was not one of his options. Armstrong, like all good leaders, was responsible. He knew the area and its tools. He knew the goals and did the right thing. He was the final decision maker.
Decision-making leaders must be able to make the most difficult decisions in the most difficult situations.
6. Evaluate ideas
The Apollo 11 model could not be purchased at any store. There were no early models. The great tool that was responsible for transporting Saturn V from the assembly plant to the launch pad was the idea of a member of the launch operation team. There is no name for him on the date of the trip to the moon. He had said that the idea came to him from watching the conveyor process in the mine.
Innovation and creativity often have different origins. Clever managers are receptive to the ideas of individuals at all levels of the organization, from the secretariat to the higher levels.
7. Preparing for sudden events
At the landing of Apollo 11, the story of the “strong black” took place. [نظریۀ «قوی سیاه» (Black Swan) به رویدادهای بسیار نادر و غیرمحتملی اشاره دارد که بهطور معمول هیچکس انتظار وقوع آن را ندارد، مثل دیدنِ قوی سیاه!] At the final landing of the moon, an unusual warning with the code 1202 was suddenly displayed. This alert indicates a problem with the helper computer. After landing in equilibrium, a Houston-based youth control expert familiar with the code in the simulation program designed a notification for the message.
No company is safe from a 1202 code, and unforeseen events always happen. But leaders can assess the risks and help the organization in critical situations.
8. Everyone is involved
The Apollo 11 project team consisted of more than 300,000 people. The unparalleled collaboration between the government, the private sector, astronauts and even the American people in this project was remarkable. During the last transfer for the Apollo mission, the astronauts released a video in appreciation of this collaboration.
An effective manager knows that success is a set of managerial ideas and workforce commitment. Rarely does only one of these two succeed, and I alone will never succeed.
9. Lessons learned from mistakes
Much of the success of Apollo 11 was due to the tragic defeat of Apollo 1. The catastrophe forced NASA to acknowledge that it was unaware of the dangers ahead and safety, and to change its approach altogether.
In fact, failure lessons can be just as important as success. This teaches good lessons of responsibility in the event of failure. On a larger scale, leaders are always learning from the mistakes of themselves or their organization.
Armstrong sees the success of Apollo 11 in its essence: a project in which everyone was interested, involved and attracted to their work. In today’s business, the more leaders focus on employee job satisfaction, the more success they will achieve due to employee enthusiasm. An example of this can be seen in the Apollo 11 project team; Employees who did even a little better than they could.
There is always a tendency to downplay the great events of the past. Being human on a spaceship is a very fascinating subject. But this is a long time ago. We have made a lot of progress since then. This issue is no longer very relevant in the modern world. With these views, some may think that Apollo 11 is a low-value project. But these thoughts are wrong, and Apollo 11 is still a very important event.
What we can still learn from Apollo 11 are lessons that can still be talked about in board meetings.