"It's where you start your team building" argues Kranz. "The first thing I did in establishing the team building is to look at 'co-location': I want similar people working together as an element of a team." He grouped people across levels, and he grouped outside contractors with inside employees. Occasionally the arrangements violated civil service rules, but when told to conform, Kranz invented ways around them.
Implicit comprehension was a key objective of the team building: "You learn to use the nonverbal communication," Kranz says. "You develop the feeling whether this guy needs a few more seconds to work out a problem. Sometimes you'll change your polling procedures" in surveying the controllers before taking a decision. "You're going to come to him last, you're going to give him a few more seconds."
As a final reinforcing measure, Kranz arranged his flight teams into their own baseball league. The flight teams then challenged the astronaut teams on the football field. Other seasons produced still more competitive sports, even judo.
The team-building payoffs were evident in Room 210. The forty or so people working there had to solve dozens of interrelated problems on the fly, weaving hundreds of specific steps into broader fabric. They had to restructure technological systems so tightly coupled that tiny changes in one could create havoc in another. When a guidance controller proposed deicing Odyssey's thruster jets by briefly firing the engines, another controller immediately protested that the deicing could ruin the guidance system of the still-attached Aquarius. Those responsible for the flight's dynamics, guidance, and later retrofiring objected that the firing could divert the spacecraft from its required trajectory. Yet they quickly found an effective solution, reaffirming the collective virtues of the endless simulations and sports.
By implication: Developing teams and teams of teams through training and exercise can create the implicit understandings that make for fast and accurate decision making when the teams are under duress but must act.
The Two Faces of Leadership
Eugene Kranz enduredthe crisis with an unshakable faith that it would be resolved the right way. His optimism stemmed from an optimistic appraisal of the decision-making
apparatus he had fostered since taking control of the Apollo missions just two years earlier. "I thought that as a group we were smart enough and clever enough," he would later say, "to get out of any problem." Kranz's latticework of teams and specialists served as half the leadership formula. His driving optimism and demand for accuracy among the teamsand specialists added the other half.
Managers are vested with certain areas of authority from the day they arrive: they can revise budgets, assign people, and give raises. These are the levers of office shown in the bottom rectangle in Figure 3. 1-the ones Kranz was handed the minute he first stepped through the door of his new office. Like all successful managers, though, Kranz realized that the vested powers of office are only a platform to build on. As opposed to merely managing, leadership can be defined as moving above those vested powers in both personal and organizational ways, as shown in the upper rectangles in Figure 3.1.
Personal leadership includes the exercise of individual qualities of leadership, as seen in Eugene Kranz's insistence on fast and accurate decisions and in his abiding optimism about a successful return. Organizational leadership includes the exercise of change and development of other people, as seen in his team building before the mission and team restructuring during it. Leadership, then, can be viewed as leveraging what you are given to achieve far more.
Neither facet of leadership is a birthright. Both can be mastered, but mastery is lifelong, often be