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A good leader can enhance a team’s performance using trust and humility.

Scott “Scooter” Altman served as the Commander of STS-109 and STS-125. These were the final two servicing missions for the Hubble Space Telescope. In this video clip, Altman talks about some of the lessons that came from these complex missions. Good teamwork and support are crucial to any project’s chances for success. Altman shares his thoughts about how to build a good environment to allow a large team to succeed.

Video key learning points:

    1. 1.

      A spaceflight mission takes a big team: mission control, trainers, instrument developers and experts, and people who maintained the shuttles and got them ready to launch.

    2. 2.

      A leader should trust individuals on the team to do their jobs and responsibilities. Leaders coordinate the work of individuals on a team to get to the mission’s goals. A leader should ask for team members’ input on how they would perform certain tasks.

    3. 3.

      Humility is a key trait for a leader. Leaders need to recognize that there are other team members who have more expertise than them on many topics and should try to draw out the expertise each team member has to help with a successful mission.


Related Resources

NASA APPEL: Building and Leading NASA Teams Courses

NASA APPEL ASK Magazine Article: Good Team Design

NASA APPEL VPMC: Building Effective Project Teams for Mission Success

NASA APPEL Knowledge Inventory: Teamwork


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