Leadership: Perseverance under Pressure

“Failure is not an option, we are not going to loose any men in space on my watch … “ those immortal words ring with authority and determination as it’s discovered NASA’s Apollo 13 mission to the moon is in trouble. Technical issues ensue and the mission is aborted. New task now is to get the three men home safely. Good leadership under pressure was vital and his colleagues listened. Technical issues over CO2 levels rising were overcome. Angle of re-entry into the earth’s atmosphere was eventually secured. All the men were saved. A demonstration of great leadership in our world today.

Churchill is another example of great leadership under pressure, rallying Britain to never surrender, to never give up ! The situation looked hopeless but his speeches and ‘face like flint’ leadership stirred up hope and perseverance in a nation.

Eddison on a lighter note, the inventor of the electric light bulb, showed perseverance under pressure in the race to produce a light bulb that would last more than 10 seconds! He famously quoted, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work !”

Abraham Lincoln failed eight times at various moments in his career to gain political positions, but never gave up. Eventually success came his way and he went on to become one of America’s greatest Presidents.

Perseverance is a key characteristic in a good leader and often needed in pressure situations.

Please feel free to use the comment section below to add your own findings and stories regarding good leadership and what we can all learn.

Hope you have a good month

All the best


ps If you have enjoyed this blog please feel free to pass on to others

About Mike Osborn CEng

A Chartered Engineer and member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers living in the UK with a passion for engineering design, technology and innovation, peppered with a little humour. Presently running a small engineering design & CAD drawing solutions business, serving mainly London and home counties. www.osborndesign.co.uk
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