Earthrise:Leadership Lessons From the Apollo Space Missions
Earthrise: Leadership Lessons From the Apollo Space Missions
On Sunday July 20, 1969, at 10:56 pm EST, American astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first human being to set foot upon the Moon. The Apollo 11 mission represented a moment of profound inspiration and hope at the end of what had been a really hard time. In addition to the murder of a promising young president, the 1960s had seen the escalation of America’s tragic and misguided involvement in faraway Vietnam; some but not enough progress in the Civil Rights movement; multiple political assassinations; tumultuous and deadly race riots in our cities; and general social turmoil on a grand and disruptive scale.
Despite all of this, somehow, imagining the possibility of reaching the Moon brought us together, even if only for a moment. It was not just an American achievement, but an achievement for all people everywhere. The Moon landing truly represented a triumph of the human spirit.
In Earthrise, author Jeff Appelquist seeks to answer a fascinating question: What leadership lessons can we glean from the epic story of the Apollo spaceflights? In addition to Apollo 11, he details the Apollo 8 mission, which successfully orbited the Moon in 1968, and the infamous near-disaster that was Apollo 13, made famous by the words, “Houston, we’ve had a problem.” In each of these epic voyages, and in a series of compelling companion case studies, Appelquist finds that such leadership dimensions as establishing a common purpose, developing strong relationships and trust, communicating clearly, continuing to learn, demonstrating energy and passion, and making good decisions all played a critical role. Earthrise is an essential roadmap for any person who is faced with the never-ending challenges of an ongoing leadership journey.