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Why Neil Armstrong was first on Luna

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in Best-Practices Leadership,Leaders & Managers

Neil Armstrong has been described as a “bashful” man with “no ego.” He now lives quietly on a farm in Ohio and could walk down the streets of most U.S. cities without being recognized.

But you can’t become the first human to walk on the moon without walking a leadership path straight to the top of your field. Here’s how Armstrong did it:
  • Having a dream. Flight thrilled Armstrong (he often dreamed that he could fly), so he devoted his life to it.

  • Pursuing that dream. Armstrong earned his pilot’s license at age 16, became a fighter pilot and flew 78 combat missions in Korea.

  • Being prepared when your chance comes. While scientists at Edwards Air Force Base were preparing the moon mission, Armstrong was always the first to ask to fly experimental aircraft. In all, he flew more than 900 experimental flights into the stratosphere.
Armstrong’s unique brand of leadership is all about substance, not flashiness.

— Adapted from First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong, James R. Hansen, Simon & Schuster.

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