Charlotte, NC, May 7, 2019 – America’s effort to put a man on the moon is a compelling story, one filled with great hope, tragedy and, ultimately, a triumph of human spirit and ingenuity that remains unequalled to this, its 50th anniversary year.  Every step of way, it’s a tale of the leadership demonstrated by a relatively small number of key personnel, ones who took the Apollo quest from the bold vision of a martyred President to a seemingly impossible technical reality, all in less than a decade.

In his new book, Apollo Leadership Lessons (Authority Publishing, 244 pages, ISBN-978-1-949642-13-1, Retail: $19.99), executive development expert Dick Richardson shows how the leadership tactics employed by the Apollo program’s key decision-makers can be applied in business today, from the C-suite on down to the frontline.

Richardson is the co-founder of Experience to Lead, a firm that offers unique, immersive experiences to improve the leadership skills of senior business executives.   His new book is based on his company’s popular Apollo Leadership Program, which has taken over 100 teams from Fortune 500 companies to the Johnson Space Center to learn directly from the NASA executives and astronauts involved in Apollo and other programs.  The company also offers include The Gettysburg Experience, where executives learn leadership lessons at the scene of this epic battle, and Brace for Impact, where Richardson relays his own experiences as a passenger on US Airways’ Miracle on the Hudson flight.

Apollo Leadership Lessons provides a prismatic vantage into leadership via chapters dedicated to the key players in the moon landing program including:

  • Wernher Von Braun – How the “enemy scientist” behind Germany’s deadly U2 rocket program escaped with his research team and “repositioned” himself to become an advocate of peaceful space exploration and an indispensable asset to NASA’s Mercury, Gemini and Apollo efforts. Also explored is his T-shaped Management style, his ability to anticipate alternate scenarios and scan the environment beyond his technical expertise – such as the political and economic realities impacting NASA – which would insure Apollo’s ultimate success in the face of many setbacks;
  • JFK – How President Kennedy’s brief but powerful speech at Rice University provided not only a winning vision for a country that was losing the space race, but a way to support other initiatives he campaigned for, from boosting scientific research, education and the economy to mitigating segregation;
  • James Webb and his Triad – How a finance expert who doubted his own ability to handle this very technical task became its chief administrator, guiding NASA from its beginnings through the moon missions, and compensated for his short-coming with “The Triad,” a three-person, decision-making team;
  • Apollo 1 Disaster and George Low – How the “normalization of deviation” helped cause the fire that took the lives of three astronauts of Apollo 1. Why one heroic technician, George Low, took a demotion to redesign the space craft, instituting 400 improvements only 40 of which dealt with the fire, and then reframed the Apollo program after this disaster to get America “first to the moon.”

Richardson’s Apollo Leadership Lessons covers much more.  It addresses how NASA’s meritocracy focus helped battle segregation, why great bosses – and not money – proved vital to attracting the best and the brightest, the ethical issues of astronaut selling items taken into space, and how NASA refocused its mission after achieving the seemingly impossible goal of landing a man on the moon.

“NASA is such a wonderful story because it was such a momentous thing for mankind, an effort filled with fits and starts, disasters and recalibrations to achieve a goal that is still unprecedented in human history,” adds Richardson.

“In today’s business environment, we hear about so many bad things – scandals and personal shortcomings, ethical shortfalls like Enron, and it sometimes seems that we have forgotten how to lead,” says Richardson.  “I wrote this book to provide a much-needed reset, to showcase a positive story filled with the experiences of a multitude of so many admirable characters, ones that we could model to become better leaders, today and in the future.”

For more information on the book and Richardson and his company, visit https://www.experiencetolead.com/

 

For interviews and information contact:

Sal Cataldi, Cataldi PR, Tel: 516.236.3817, 212.244.9779   sal@cataldipr.com