Tanveer Naseer

Leadership Coach, Speaker, and Writer

Encouraging Your Employees To Reach For The Moon

Of the many stories that came out of NASA’s Apollo space program, one of my favourites is the story about the janitor who upon being asked by a reporter what his job was in the organization replied “I’m helping to put a man on the Moon”. Now, whether this story is true or not doesn’t really matter as it exemplifies the general sentiment shared by everyone involved in that project; that regardless of how large or visible their contribution was, they all felt a genuine and direct connection between the work they did and that moment when Neil Armstrong took that first step on the Moon.

In many ways, this prevalent feeling of connecting to a shared purpose and sense of being active contributors to the Apollo space program is as much a noteworthy and admirable accomplishment as their collective feat of sending men to walk on our celestial neighbour in the night sky. And it’s certainly an accomplishment that many leaders and their organizations would like to duplicate within their own workforce in order to increase their global competitiveness through their ability to innovate and create.

So what can this anecdote of the NASA janitor teach us about driving innovation and fostering a strong sense of collective purpose within our own teams? Here’s a few ideas for starters:

1. Encourage your employees to transform your vision into their story

We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.  –  John F. Kennedy

Many of us are familiar with President Kennedy’s famous speech at Rice University where he made the announcement of his government’s plan to put into high gear the creation of a space program that would send a man to the Moon. Without question it’s an inspiring speech, but notice how in the quote above, Click here to continue reading »”Encouraging Your Employees To Reach For The Moon”