“Leadership is fragile. It is more a matter of mind and heart than resources . . . ” So said Gene Kranz, Apollo Program mission controller in his 2010 book “Failure Is Not An Option.” Yes, that Gene Kranz. Apollo 13. Three men in a mortally wounded spacecraft half way to the Moon. Indeed, failure was not an option.
Many of us face a moment of crisis and, while most leaders don’t face life and death moments like the events surrounding the Apollo 13 mission, such moments are unnerving, even disorienting to most and they have the capacity to rattle us profoundly,
What you probably weren’t told when you agreed to become a leader is that you just might face a crisis, a critical moment when it’s all on the line. More importantly, when that time arrives, as a leader you no longer have the luxury of falling to pieces. You will have surrendered that option the moment your role changed, because Human Being 101 establishes, “See leader, emulate leader.” In other words, if you fall apart, your entire team will soon follow. But if you stay confident that you and your team will somehow find success, your team members will do the same.
That’s why Fully Alive Leadership Practice #8 is: Be Their Confident Captain.
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