What The Moon Landing Can Teach Us About Management

Fifty-one years ago, this week, Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon.

During a visit to the NASA Headquarters building, President Kennedy spotted a man standing to one side holding a broom.

The President walked over to this man, held out his hand, and said: “Hi, I’m Jack Kennedy. What is it that you do here?”

The janitor replied: “Mr President, I’m helping to put a man on the moon.”

This story may be spurious. Nevertheless, it demonstrates an important point: seemingly insignificant tasks are fundamental to the effective performance of any project.

If you manage other people, the first thing you need to understand is that your success depends on their success. The more you empower all of your employees, the more your team will grow and thrive. By taking the time to demonstrate how much of a measurable impact all team members are having on your business, will show that you see and appreciate the combined efforts.

Empowered employees are loyal, committed and potentially more productive. When employees are given the tools and resources needed to successfully manage or lead their projects, work toward their goals and drive their career, the benefits are endless. Empowered employees are more likely to: Go the extra mile.

Neil Armstrong and the crew of Apollo 11 didn’t get to the moon on their own.

“One small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind” was only possible, due to an appreciated and engaged team of scientists, engineers and a janitor.