Earthrise: Leadership Lessons from the Apollo Space Missions
Wise Ink Creative Publishing (2022)
Reviewed by Kathy Stickles for Reader Views (07/2022)
The United States today is filled with tremendous issues that seem like they will never be agreed upon, dealt with, or, dare I say it, changed for the better. On many a day, it seems like these issues are just going to further tear our country apart, and our “leaders” are very rarely on the same page in terms of attempting to handle these challenges and help us move forward. The same can be said of the 1960s when, although the issues were somewhat different, they still caused many of the same problems and, again, no one seemed to be ready or able to work together to make changes. Our leaders still could not seem to come to an agreement or find ways to pull the country together and help our society get along. Maybe they needed a book such as this one in order to have a guide on how to work together and face the challenges of being true leaders.
In “Earthrise: Leadership Lessons from the Apollo Space Missions,” Jeff Appelquist uses an amazing time in our country’s history to show how leaders and teams can and must work together in order to fulfill a dream. Setting foot on the moon was a victory not only for the people who lead the program to get there but for every American, and the world beyond, that sat in front of their television and watched it happen. There is no way to deny that in a country filled with tremendous pain and conflict at the time, (think Vietnam, civil rights, assassinations, and the list goes on), watching these brave astronauts be hurled into space and actually set foot on the moon, was a huge triumph as well as a huge lifting of spirits for all. These moments are just some of the ones that made a person truly proud to be an American!
This book not only details three different Apollo space missions, but the author then picks these details apart to show the reader what can be done when leaders do truly work together to find a common purpose and make it succeed. Mr. Appelquist is able to show how important it is for leaders to develop relationships and trust with each other, to communicate properly, to learn from each other, and to make, above all else, good decisions for everyone involved in a project from the top tier all the way down to the bottom tier.
I was impressed by the way he detailed the different case studies involved and showed how each part, or as he called them “dimensions,” to being leaders of such important projects can and must be done in order for a project to succeed, whether that project is big or small. I think that many, many people could learn lessons from this book on how to work together to get things done and I think it is very important that they try. I enjoyed the book immensely and the tying together of the facts between the space missions themselves and the parameters that need to be followed to make things come together, through great leadership, to give our country something to be so very, very proud of.