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Ethics Report

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Ethics and Leadership Report
Vincent Renda
Applied Leadership - mgt331
Baker College
Dr. Julia Teahen

Provide a brief summary of the movie you chose. Be sure to provide a description of each major character, their leadership style, and why you believe they were important to the story.
Brief Summary
Movie-APOLLO 13
NASA’s Apollo 13 mission was a mission to the moon, but because of mechanical problems the Apollo 13 not only failed to reach the moon, it was almost lost. The Apollo 13" mission showed men solving problems with their intelligence, their skill sets, bravery and most of all teamwork. This mission raised issues of loyalty for the individual against the loyalty of the team as a whole. It represented how the success of the mission became more important than the need of the one. Ken Mattingly one of the astronauts that was supposed to be on the Apollo 13 mission but was cut for a “maybe” health issue, played the role of the person who saved the mission. He showed that even with bad luck that prevented him from being on the mission, means even if you are not on the first team, you can still play the most important in saving the mission and become a hero. Each astronaut, was a positive male role model in their own right. (NASA, 2016).

Major Characters Jim Lovell: Apollo 13 commander, was the world’s most traveled astronaut. He participated in three mission and had 572 hours of spaceflight experience. He demonstrated transformational leadership qualities. His leadership skills caused positive changes in his crew and pushed them to the next level of success under very intense and dangerous scenarios. His importance to the mission is his leadership ability to keep everyone on the same page, without him the mission would have been a disaster.

Gene Kranz: Was NASA’s flight director for the Gemini and Apollo programs, he was a transformational leader, his skills included keeping the whole team together in all situations, and keeping everyone on the same page constantly. His leadership skills were very impressive, he never wavered from the goal that every mission be a successful one. He had the utmost respect from all of his subordinates and was not afraid to “tell it like it is.” It is a pressure cooker of stress to be a flight director and it took a special kind of leader to be one, and Gene Kranz was one of the few who could handle the job. His importance in the movie was how he kept everyone together and avoided panic and stuck to the mission at hand.

Fred Haise Jr.: Was an aeronautical engineer, a former test pilot, fighter pilot. He is one of the 24 people who flew to the moon. His leadership style was a democratic leader as he always tried to become and share the decision making once all of the facts were on the table. He was honest, competent, always looking forward, his ability to solve equations in a hurry was a special gift he had. He was intelligent and fair-minded. He also was very imaginative in his analysis. His importance of the story was his ability to assess the situation before acting irresponsibly.

Jack Swigert: Was an American test pilot, both a mechanical and aerospace engineer. He was designated to be the Command Module pilot on the Apollo 13 mission. He was replaced because he was exposed to the measles and never had them before. His leadership style was a transactional leader. He believed in rewarding the team for its accomplishments, but also felt punishment was needed in certain situations. He was a proven astronaut that had a little bad luck when it came to this particular mission. His importance of the story was that without him on the ground working the simulator, the mission would have been a disaster. He proved in the movie that the team was more important than the individual.

Summarize the major leadership challenges you identified while watching the movie.
Major Leadership Challenges: One of the major leadership challenges in the movie was how Gene Kranz was tough enough, and had the leadership skills to keep everyone calm and in order, during the most crucial situations and events throughout the Apollo 13 mission. Another leadership challenge was when Jim Lovell had to keep the crew from fighting with each other about whose fault it was that the failure occurred. It was like a father scolding his children to stop fighting, but in that situation, Lovell did the right thing, kept his subordinates on the same page and made them concentrate on the emission at hand. One of the best challenges was when Gene Kranz said: “I refused to let failure be an option.” He was actually saying, if this mission fails, no matter what the reason, it’s our fault, because we allowed the mission to fail. Great quote.

Questions to address in your report:
What ethical considerations did you determine to be present in the movie? Were they clearly discussed in the movie or did you have to analyze your notes to determine them? Be sure to be specific and identify the scenes where ethical issues were (or should have been) addressed. One ethical consideration that was determined was when Jim Lovell had to make the decision of moving back the mission and step down, or cutting Jack Swigert. Was it ethical to cut Jack or should Lovell have given up the mission at this time and take a later mission? I would have to say it was a selfish decision on Lovell’s part, I understand he cut Jack to keep the mission safe from contracting measles. But, I feel his decision was guided somewhat in his selfishness to have a mission of his own. Normally, this type of decision destroys the loyalty and trust between the leader and the subordinate. Another ethical issue was when the LEM director was worried about losing his job and wanted to make sure that he would not be responsible if the LEM failed. Gene Kranz assured him he would not be responsible and his job was secure, even though that was really not the case, but Kranz needed the LEM director to be as stress free as possible to help complete the mission so he let him believe he was in good shape about keeping his job, although if the mission failed, I am sure he would of been one of the personal who lost his job at NASA. (Diamond, 2013).

Did you find that the major characters had strong leadership qualities? Please list the leadership qualities of each major character.
Jim Lovell: Confident, respected, experienced and fair.
Gene Kranz: Highly respected, proven leader, able to handle stress no matter the situation.
Fred Haise Jr.: Was more of a follower than a strong leader, he good at doing the task at hand.
Jack Swigert: Was a strong leader and very bright, he was loyal to the tee, and looked out for the team as a whole, a real team player, loyalty and trust were his main objectives. Even though he was highly disappointed when he was dropped because a possible or a maybe it might happen excuse of him getting the measles. He was there when they needed him, his actions actually ended up saving the lives of Apollo 13, he was the real here of the story. Ethics portrayed at its fines in Jack Swigert actions.

Did the major characters have an ethical approach when making leadership decisions? Yes, they did, the movie showed the importance of teamwork and how leadership is supposed to work, all the decisions were based on ethics during the crisis. Everyone stuck with the emission to succeed, no one was more important than the team itself. (IMDb, 1995).

How did the presenter score? In what areas could they improve? The presenter scored very well, it was presented in a “true to form” atmosphere as was possible. They could have improved the area of the arguing between the team as more intense than it was, I felt there would have been longer and more intense discussions than was portrayed in the movie.

What were the positive and negative ethical impacts of leadership actions and decisions? Positive ethical impact was how the team performed as a team and did not let personal ideals get tin their way to be successful. A negative ethical impact was the reasoning Jack Swigert was dropped from the mission. (the small possibility of catching the measles.) The other negative ethical impact was when Jim Lovell decided to keep the mission now and not wait a later date to get another mission, so he dropped Jack Swigert to keep his spot, very unethical and selfish. As a leader he showed his weakness and looked like he was not loyal to his subordinates. (Diamond, 2013).

What was the relationship between ethics, authority and trust? It was a “win-win” situation between ethics, authority and trust. The flight director was well respected and his authority was never a question. He was ethical throughout the story and had the trust of everyone on the team. Some team members questioned him, but he promoted that questioning and he made his decisions on what was best for the team and the mission. Nothing but a true leader. (Thomas, 2016).

What was/is the value of building a culture of awareness? The value of building a culture of awareness is the foundation of communication, which equates to the involvement to have the ability of standing back from ourselves, and becoming aware of our true cultural values and perceptions. Communication is the key to leadership and this story proves it beyond a shadow of a doubt. Take communication out of any formula and the formula will not work.

Discuss how you can maintain your strengths, improve your areas of weakness, identify any opportunities, and discuss strategies to overcome any threats or how to turn them into an opportunity. Discuss how you can maintain your strengths, improve your areas of weakness, identify any opportunities, and discuss strategies to overcome any threats or how to turn them into an opportunity. The best way to maintain your strengths is to keep yourself in check. Create a “check and balance” format you make for yourself that shows you where you are at for your strengths and weaknesses, make sure you keep watching out for your opportunities, and most important make sure you keep an eye out for the threats, stay ahead of the threats and you have a formula for success.

Compare/contrast your personal leadership style to the major characters in the movie. Similarities? Differences? Strengths? Weaknesses? Similar in the way, that I would not have been afraid to take on the challenge of the Flight Director. As a challenge like that itself, would be my motivation. Stress to me is a motivator, not a negative. The one difference is I would have kept Jake Swigert on the team or pushed backed the Apollo 13 crew to a later launch. It was a weak move to break up the Apollo13 crew like they did. The strength was in Lovell and Kranz, they proved that would not “crack under pressure.” This is one of my strongest points, I can handle the pressure under extraordinary circumstances. My weakness would have been the emotion attached with making sure they were going to get back home safely, I would have kept on trying until they got home, but I’m not sure “deep down” I would have been able to believe we were going to succeed.

Do you agree with the leadership decisions made in the movie? Why or why not? Yes, I believe in the leadership decisions, except for the one decision when they decided to drop Jack Swigert for the possibility that he might contract measles. Not a trend that NASA usually follows, there had to be some underlining reasoning to drop him. Jim Lovell should have stuck with the original team, if that was not going to be a reality, he should have waited for the next mission.

Is there anything you would have done differently? Would your decisions lead to different results? If so, what results would you anticipate? Yes, just one change, I would have kept Swigert on the team and waited for the next mission. But as it turned out, Swigert was the reason they survived, if he was on the space craft with them the mission probably would have been a disaster. So in hind sight, it ended up being a good decision, but it was a little unethical and a bit selfish with the decision Lovell made.

Provide a conclusion of the major findings discussed in your report. In conclusion, it was a good movie that showed the value of teamwork and leadership. Without the intense actions as a team, the mission would have been a disaster. The issue I saw that no one ever even commented on. Was the stirring of the oxygen tanks needed to be done at that particular time? Did NASA know there was going to be a problem with the tanks? The reason I ask, was because the politics at that time on that particular mission was there was almost no interest in this mission from the public, they just landed on the moon on the mission before and the public had more interest in a Pittsburg baseball game that watching the Apollo 13 launch. Since NASA is funded by the public, and with no interest comes no money, the program could be in jeopardy in the future. In business, the secret is “Supply & Demand” create an emergency and the demand to watch the flight is increased ten-fold, this equates to future public interest and more donations and funding. It just seemed weird to me that the problem was from a tank that was dropped two years earlier and using a two tier electrical system one at 28 volts and the other source of electricity to the tanks was at 65 volts. The dropping of the tank caused the inner tube to collapse and not allow the oxygen to escape and when the tube did not open with the 28-volt system, the 65-volt system kicked in and melted the thermostat valve shut so no gas could get out, the electrical wiring to the valve partially melted off leaving it exposed inside the tank which caused a spark which in turn caused the explosion. It was an exciting mission that created huge public interest and provided funding for future missions. NASA is and was all about politics, and where politics are involved in projects, certain people have their own agenda. In other words, even though it was a scary mission for the astronauts, I feel NASA was prepared to create an emergency to get the public interest and keep the program going. Not saying they wanted the astronauts to die, but I feel they were willing to accept the possibility. Everyone on the NASA team at ground control was worried of losing their job because of declining public interest and funding of space travel. Not saying any of the major players knew of the plot, but someone in NASA did. Maybe someone did not want Jack Swigert to die, and made up a cockamamie story about the possibility of catching the measles. It just seems too coincidental to me. Just a thought! (Banke, 2000). SUMMARY:
Do you believe the movie you chose was a good choice to evaluate leadership styles and ethical decisions? Why or why not? Yes, the movie was an excellent choice as it evaluated all of the possibilities a team might come up against in an emergency situation. It had ethical decision being made constantly, and showed multiple leadership styles in different situations, each major player was put through emotional changes throughout the movie, and it showed the plus and minuses of each leader. (TeachWithMovies, 2013).

Would you recommend the movie to others wishing to learn more about leadership skills? I would definitely recommend this movie for anyone who desires to learn more about leadership skills. It is for sure a positive movie for thought.…...

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