Apollo 13 Leadership Essay

834 Words Jan 21st, 2009 4 Pages
Apollo 13 and Leadership
On April 10th James “Jim” Lovell, John L. Swigert, and Fred W. Haise embarked on one of the most historic missions in NASA history. Three days later on April 13th, while performing a routine stir on the O2 tanks, the Apollo 13 mission suffered a terrible electrical malfunction and was forced to make an emergency return mission. The movie has forever contributed two phrases to our everyday cultural vocabulary, “Houston we have a problem”, communicated by Jim Lovell, and “Failure is not an option”, voiced by Gene Kranz.
A Leader
Gene Kranz, 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
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To compare with the Vroom-Jago Leadership model Gene utilized most of his decisions Group decision styles (the group makes the decision; you as the 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 Kranz and the Houston controlled was informed of the explosion on the Apollo spacecraft. At this point in the film he 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…

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