“The Successful Failure”

The 1970 NASA space mission known as Apollo 13 never reached the moon as planned. On the third day of their mission, an oxygen tank exploded doing extensive damage to the ship’s fuel cells providing electricity and supporting the propulsion system.

With just 15 minutes of power left for life-support the crew was forced to abandon the Command Module and begin the intense four-day struggle in figuring a way home, now 200,000 miles away.

With the benefit of Captain James Lovell’s inspirational leadership, the dedicated teamwork of John Swigert and Fred Haise, and Mission Control’s brilliant planning, a disaster turned into a great victory.

Great leadership is anticipating and planning for all possible failures before they happen. If the worst case scenario happens they become hope-dealers while weak leaders panic at best, or worse, give up altogether.

Great leadership always emerges when the clouds are the darkest. Great leaders keep hope alive while finding solutions, poor leaders ignore reality and wait for the sunshine.

Though the Apollo 13 mission did not complete the planned mission, they were extremely successful completing the unplanned mission. Every NASA mission following Apollo 13 was more better prepared because of their “successful failure.”

Great leaders never accept defeat as final. They use every temporary set back as simply the beginning of a new victory!