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One Giant Leap - Leadership Lessons from the First Lunar Landing

The 8 day voyage from Earth to the Moon, in July 1969, was a watershed moment for humankind. The “giant leap” described by Neil Armstrong upon setting foot on the moon was the culmination of nearly a decade of work. This significant achievement required the mix of a leader with an audacious vision; the strategies derived from the collective ideation, brainstorming, and problem-solving of some of the best and brightest minds; technology pushed to the very brink of its capacity; unwavering commitment and belief in the plan; and the excellent execution of a team committed to seeing the stars through the eyes of three astronauts.

Put yourself in the shoes of Neil Armstrong for a moment. Imagine stepping foot out into space and connecting with alien terrain for the first time. Look down at your home planet from 240,250 miles away and know that its inhabitants are looking back at you with wide-eyed wonder. Consider all the theory, training, and investment it took for you to experience this moment. Do you feel the power of collective intelligence tuned to maximum capacity yet?

Every time someone tells me that a goal is too ambitious or that something can’t be done or that nothing this crazy has ever been attempted before, I remind them of this moment in history that happened forty-six years ago. If President Kennedy could be this ambitious in 1960, what’s our excuse in 2015?

As a leader in your organization, have you galvanized your people behind a common purpose? Have you established a vision so audacious and ambitious that attaining it will require the absolute best from you and your people? Do you have the EQ to allow your people to bring solutions forward to achieve your company’s objectives? Do you have the patience to stay the course through trial and error until you get it right?

If you answered yes to all the questions above, prepare yourself to experience a huge leap forward in results, productivity, and impact.

If not, what’s your excuse for underachieving?

When you harness the collective wisdom and power of your team behind a unified objective, you, like NASA in 1969, will become unstoppable, and not even the sky will limit how far you can go.

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