What an amazing example of teamwork and trust! I wish I could have been at that presentation! You know, as I read the article, I also thought about today’s discussion on culture and perceptions of American culture.
In Social Studies, we discussed the cultural stereotypes of American culture and part of it is the increasingly rare quality of trust. I think so many of us are at fault in this decrease and are quick to argue other comments or opinions, almost living a self-serving ideal. We’ve come to believe that because what we know of to be true for us, we think it should work for others and anyone who goes against it or our opinion is wrong. We don’t trust that there are experts in different fields, people who have the lifelong experience and who could open our eyes to new avenues and ideas.
It saddens me to see the transformation in the level of trust through a child’s eye. I see my two kids, who trust me and anyone they meet that they will be completely safe and happy and loved. Then as they grow older and experience the world around them, I wonder who and when that all-encompassing trust will no longer be so sincere.
Gene Kranz made history, but he couldn’t have made history without his team, which he readily acknowledged. They trusted his gut feeling 100% and worked with him to bring the team home. If I were working in mission control during that fateful event, I would hope that my reaction would have been the same—100% committed to what I was asked to do. My job would have been skills-specific, and whatever I was told to do or asked to create, I know would have been because people trusted me and was confident in me to carry out or create an order. His team trusted his knowledge, his background, and his compassion for the program. It was a successful effort because the team leader was trusted completely by his group. If there was an ounce of doubt, I don’t think it would have had the same outcome.