Leadership: Conversations with Neil Armstrong

I was driving home on Thursday evening and was listening in to Radio National’s PM program.
By coincidence I was think about some correspondence with a PhD student about authentic leadership.
Serendipity brought me news of a series of CPA interviews with Neil Armstrong.
Alex Malley, the CEO of CPA, interviewed Neil Armstrong and observed that:

Look he’s got an extraordinary humility, there’s no question about that and when you look at what they were able to do in ’69 in relation to the journey they went on; these are things we just haven’t seen for a long time.
His capability to constantly talk about team; to have shown the world something that was beyond their mind and just getting the balance right between initiative and entrepreneurship and risk management, whereas these days we seem to be telling each other we can’t do things because of the risk and yet they did that literally on a wing and a prayer.

What is special about the four interviews with Neil Armstrong is that they offer a rare insight into his thinking.
He does not do a lot of interviews so I believe these are outstanding resources with which to contemplate leadership, risk and humility.
Driving home in the twilight did not seem so arduous on Thursday particularly after I heard Neil Armstrong say of the lunar landing:

Then the computer showed us where it intended to land and it was a very bad location, it was on the side of a large crater about – I suppose 100 or 150 metres in diameter. So I took over manually and flew it like a helicopter out to the west direction; got into a smoother area with not so many rocks, found a level area and was able to get it down there safely before we ran out of fuel.

Photo Credit
Neil Armstrong



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