Leadership

The movie has forever contributed two phrases to our everyday cultural vocabulary, “Houston we have a problem”, communicated by Jim Lovely, and “Failure is not an option”, voiced by Gene Crank.

A Leader Gene Crank, the legendary flight controller for NASA during the Apollo 13 mission motivated his team and executed careful planning, extraordinary leadership skills, and also was able to effectively delegate task affiance amongst his team of NASA scientists. 1)As a charismatic and strong leader, Gene respected the judgment and knowledge of each specialty area in his team. Controllers had to develop an intricate non programmed decision 500-step checklist for powering the command module back up in preparation for re-entry, revising it several mimes in the hours leading up to the spacecraft’s return to Earth.

Each team member was held accountable to perfect their individual task, and in result each step was executed correctly resulting in a flawless “successful failure” mission. 2) Even though Gene showed patience and diligence, nobody is perfect, especially with intuitive decision making. As the movie continues the excessive number of problems and potential alternatives seemed to be infinite, and Gene begins to lose his cool. This is shown by an outburst in regards to obtaining the startup electrical procedure.

Since there is no prior experience and situation history to formulate the plan from, Gene must consider the learning curve of his team to develop this electrical startup procedure. Key Theory Many traits seem to be synonymous with leadership such as intelligence, personality, supervisor ability, etc. However, managers and true leaders support their decisions and realize that there is no exact step-by-step process to the answer. To compare with the Broom-Ago Leadership model Gene utilized most of his decisions Group decision styles (the group makes the decision; you as he leader are just another team member).

Group (G) decisions were made throughout the film, acted equally alongside his co-workers in “working the problem” by helping calculate trajectories and formulate solutions. Also, the Path-Goal model was visually displayed when Gene came up to the chalkboard, drew the course for the Apollo 13 crew from the moon’s atmosphere back to earth. Successful Leadership Successful leadership was realized after Gene Crank and the Houston controlled was informed of the explosion on the Apollo spacecraft. At this point in the film e begins his journey into transformational leadership.

Through intellectual stimulation he helps his team rethink rational ways oxygen can be saved using items available on the spacecraft. Also, he reminds them of the contingent reward by reminding each team member of the goal to save the astronauts lives and take control of the situation by mapping out what must be done to receive the outcome they desire. Key Decision One of the most key and important decisions in the film is when Gene makes the call on shutting down the two of the suspected “leaking” fuel cells.

To make this decision he uses certain questions from the diagnostic procedure, and must consider by shutting these down they lose the ability to land on the moon, altering the entire mission. The most important question is how important is the technical quality of the decision? To make good on this analysis, he charges his team with the job of calling in all employees who designed or built “any button” on the Apollo spacecraft. He then can make a favorable decision and trusts that shutting down the cells could have a positive effect.

The outcome is negative, but t still shows how important trust and confidence is in leader-member relations. Otherwise, precious time would be spent deliberating on functional hierarchy and who is the most qualified to make the decision. Reach for the Stars Over the years, the more times I experience this film seem to always take something away from it. From a managers standpoint you begin to realize the difference between the “l” and the “we” component of a team. You rely on each team member having a substantial amount of effort and involvement with the overall goal of the mission.

For when the times comes each specialized team member must come forward and contribute their part in the overall objective, then return to their role as part of the team. Also, managers must support and remain confident in the decisions made by their team members. Sometimes major decisions must be made under a restricted time frame, and as the manager you must trust the solutions prescribed by your staff. Finally, you must take into consideration “human limitations”. No human being is perfect, and mistakes are inevitable, especially under stress.