This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Apollo 13 Leadership During A Crisis

1805 words - 8 pages

Apollo 13- Leadership during a crisis
Lessons learned from Gene Kranz

Every employee of NASA should known the tragic event of Apollo 13; At that time in 1970 the three astronauts James Lovell, Fred Haise and Jack Swigert had to abort their mission to flight to the moon due to an explosion of an oxygen tank. They had to fight against, carbon dioxide, coldness, a lack of energy and the almost certain death. Despite of a distance of 205,000 miles the three men made it back to earth alive in the Lunar Module Aquarius (Lovell et al. 2006). This was only possible with the help of the Mission Control and the Flight Director Gene Kranz which worked together as an excellent team ...view middle of the document...

A few examples are mentioned and discussed below, how Gene Kranz managed to promote teamwork and to achieve the best possible solutions despite such time pressure, lack of resources and unprecedented problems.

1. Stay optimistic
One of the important points for leaders in critical situations is the fact that one must remain optimistic and believe in themselves and the team to achieve the set goal. Without the personal conviction managers will not be able to motivate the team to develop new solutions, to continue working and foster collaboration. This leadership style is known as transformational leadership. (LaFasto 2001). After “Houston we have a problem” was transmitted from Apollo 13, Gene Kranz stayed optimistic all time and was convinced that they can manage to get the crew home safely and alive. He believed that Mission Control could overcome all the difficulties occurred. “We are not loosing these men“. One of the other sentences Gene Kranz said “failure is not an option“ emphasizes, that he believed in the goal and was willing to pull out all the stops to get the crew home (Apollo 13 1995).

2. Do not panic
Beside the fact that leaders have to communicate credible that they believe in achieving the goal, it is also important not to panic. Nothing is worse and mostly contra productive than panic and fear among team leaders. The staff and team members will recognize the panic among team leaders very quickly and the panic behavior can be rapid transmitted to others, efficient work in no longer possible in these cases (Baldoni 2011). Gene Kranz showed high self-confidence and did not panic. He conveyed the feeling to the astronauts that NASA is working continuously on all issues, to get them back home. Despite the precarious situation, the manager should perceive a cool head in order to be able to make crucial decisions. As Gene Kranz noticed that a hint of panic is spreading in the Mission Control, he has made it very clear, that this behavior would not help anyone: “Let’s stay cool people“ (Apollo 13 1995).

3. Use knowledge of all team members
It should be noted however, that not all the goal-making decisions can be made by the leaders on their own. Too strong, centralized controls, restrictions on the freedom of choice and in involvement of the team members can lead to unmotivated employees. These ambitious and creative professionals and specialist and their knowledge are essential to find unusual and experimental solutions within a crisis (Hentze et al. 2005). The management consultant Peter F. Drucker (2009) outlines good leadership and the behavior of the ideal manager in two rules: 1. Effective leaders rather think or say “we” then “I”. 2. Effective leaders are the first to listen and the last to speak. Gene Kranz has promoted problem-oriented work even in this hopeless crisis. He has formed his own independent teams to deal with individual problem solving and fostered collaboration. For example the...

Other Essays Like Apollo 13- Leadership During a Crisis

Service Request SR-rm-022 Essay

2440 words - 10 pages document is to “define the business requirements for development of an HR system to support the objectives of this request (Apollo Group, 2011).” Establishing a detailed system design and project implementation plan required to complete the project. The approximate timeframe for the project is six months to provide sufficient time for the system to be utilized in the second quarter of next year. (Apollo Group, 2011) Identification of Key

Summery of Jfk Essay

788 words - 4 pages John Fitzgerald Kennedy was born at 83 Beals Street in Brookline, Massachusetts on Tuesday, May 29, 1917. He went to many different prestigious schools during his childhood most of which was during the great depression. When he was 13 years old he was sent to Canterbury School which was a Roman Catholic boarding school for boys. After some medical problems he enrolled in Harvard College in 1936 and in 1937 through 1939 he toured Europe to learn

Differences In Leadership Practices

6028 words - 25 pages . Managers should provide moredirection and briefings during crisis, monitor a critical task or an unreliable subordinatemore closely, provide coaching to an inexperienced group member and be supportive tosomeone with a stressful task.42As outlined in one of the previous paragraphs, more research is necessary on thetransformational leadership theory. It already captures a wide array of leadershipbehaviours, which allows for thorough examination of

Communication and Management Crisis

1696 words - 7 pages people’s lives may be at stake and at the same time the reputation of the company may get jeopardized. During crisis communication as well as improper communication can play a great role. For lack of communication right things may not be done and crisis may occur. Even a rumor may spread and crisis may happen. Communication methods to be adopted during a crisis have been talked about a lot but defining crisis is not so easy. According to Heath

Women as Leaders

3765 words - 16 pages leadership suggests a leader needs to foster an atmosphere in which employees work together, especially during periods of difficulty (Porterfield & Kleiner, 2005). The emphasis by leaders on teamwork and collaboration of their employees has become a highly embraced trait in the twenty-first century. Other significant traits include good listening skills, empowerment of employees to promote self-leadership and the ability to lead in a crisis situation

An Essay About Determination in the Movie "Apollo 13"

872 words - 4 pages Apollo 13 Directed by: Ron Howard “Hello, Houston. This is Odyssey. It's good to see you again.” These were the words Jim Lovell said as he splashed down into the Pacific Ocean after spending 8 days in a freezing hell. Stuck in the confined quarters of the Apollo 13, those words were the embodiment of achieving your goals through determination. During the flight there were more displays of determination than I could possibly cover

Apollo Engagement Letter

879 words - 4 pages the effects of any uncorrected misstatements aggregated by us during the current engagement and pertaining to the latest period presented are immaterial, both individually and in the aggregate, to the financial statements taken as a whole. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on these financial statements and an opinion on the effectiveness of the company’s internal control over financial reporting based on our audits. If, for any reason

Toyota: the Accelerator Crisis

1073 words - 5 pages quality. Furthermore, the structure of Toyota (HQs in Japan and not in the U.S) impacted Toyota’s response to customer’s claims, taking a long time to address Toyota consumer’s concerns, and in fact was one of the most criticized issues during the crisis. In other words, the company took a considerable time before recalling units that meant life losses and significant economic impacts. At the cultural managerial level, there were

Apollo Shoes

4768 words - 20 pages Apollo Shoes Case ACC/491 May 17, 2009 Date: Thu, 17 JAN 2008 7:42:53 +0000 From: "Darlene Wardlaw" Subject: Understanding the Revenue Cycle Attachment: I’ve attached a Sales internal control questionnaire from another engagement that I think you can use for Apollo. You may want to talk to Karina Ramirez to get answers to the questions. 1. Complete the ICQ for Apollo. For “yes” answers, add a comment stating which

Environmental Proposal And Presentation

1940 words - 8 pages satisfaction, or engage in any number of other changes. The changes that are enacted during the second step in the model become a relatively permanent part of an organization's behavioral repertoire. Refreezing may also be a difficult step because employees may be resistant to the organizational changes. A strategy that could be beneficial to the McBride Financial Services is to develop performance reviews and a reward system. Because the McBride

Leadership Style

1758 words - 8 pages TRANSFORMATIONAL LEADERSHIP - September 6th, 2010 cBecause of the major shifts in all aspects of organizational life, a new kind of leadership is emerging. It is the kind of leadership that enables the exploration of new and innovative ways to drive value and deliver real results in an ever-changing business environment. This new leadership allows individuals and organizations to thrive at the edge of chaos, inspiring the innovation and

Related Papers

A Linguistic Study Of Bush's Poltical Speeches During Iraqi Crisis

1990 words - 8 pages tried to analyze how politicians use language to manipulate people or to influence their behavior, or in short their political discourse which is a complex form of human activity. In fact, politics is a broad and flexible notion. Any topic can become political or politicized. Here we concentrate on political speeches at a specific time in a specific crisis for a specific person (President Bush's political speeches during the last Iraqi crisis from

Differentiating Between Market Structures In Kudler

1218 words - 5 pages Kudler’s customer base than most of the customers feel the goods are overpriced for the quality of the goods. This would be a contradictory to Kudler’s target customer who is “less price conscious” (Apollo, 2011, Straegic Plan, p. 13). Should Kudler decide to carry out a strategic decision making (basing decisions on how a competitor may react to its decision (Colander, 2010)), Kudler may consider reducing their prices as there competitor

Ovid, Metamorpheses Essay

1375 words - 6 pages and experiences as Apollo had, results in the ignorance of wisdom and logic as shown in his own actions. Consequently, this also further supports Nagle (1984, 237) and Fulkerson’s (2006, pp. 13) notion that the God’s lack understanding of mortals, hence their love often ends in the destruction of humans, particularly women (For example, Daphne, Io and Danae). Having born between 43 BC – AD 17, Ovid was born in a time of peace and prosperity in

Role Of Organizational Behavior During Continency Planning

980 words - 4 pages their leaders were perceived by the public and their employees during and after the crisis. In the article he lists five steps of crisis management in order to handle a crisis effectively. The second article Managing the Crisis That You Tried to Prevent by Norman Augustine gives examples of different businesses across different sectors, and how their management effectively or ineffectively handled the crisis at hand. The author also lists all