Leadership in the Movie Apollo 13

Topics: Apollo 13, Decision making, Apollo 11 Pages: 3 (1149 words) Published: July 17, 2011
Apollo 13
The film, Apollo 13, is based on the real-life crisis that occurred April 13, 1970 on board the Apollo spacecraft. The two main characters, Gene Kranz (Ed Harris) and Jim Lovell (Tom Hanks) are the key players who will address how a leader is able to survive and thrive in a world in which unexpected events occur on a regular basis. They portray the effective styles of leadership in balance with their ever changing surroundings, as well as their ability to maintain their interpersonal relationships with a group under unfavorable conditions. This film is a powerful movie because it makes clear to the viewer just how often disruptions and discontinuities occur. Also, it is an excellent example of how leaders must be able to meet the challenges posed by unexpected, chance events. The characters Jim Lovell and Gene Kranz are the leaders who are able to meet those challenges. The viewer is able to distinguish early on that Jim Lovell is the leader of the crew consisting of lunar-module pilot Fred Haise (Bill Paxton) and command-module pilot Ken Mattingly (Gary Senise). Jim Lovell is charismatic, confident, and cool in a crisis. He leads his crew with a democratic style because he allows free and equal participation in the decision-making processes of an organization or group, and he is keenly aware of his own behavior at all times. His behavior towards his crew is that of a supportive leader. In fact, he is a leader who is aware that his role can change due to the highly volatile environment hi which he works. For example, his first decision was to replace Ken Mattingly with the rookie back-up Jack Swigert (Kevin Bacon) only days before the initial launch of Apollo 13. His decision was made as a result of medical information concerning the exposure of crew member Ken Mattingly to the measles. This decision was not a popular one with Ken Mattingly and was also defended when questioned by a superior. This shows that although Jim Lovell is a friendly and...
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