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Team Leadership in “Apollo 13” by Ron Howard Essay (Movie Review)


Leadership has always been one of the most important aspects of human society. People who possess this quality impact the evolution of communities, introduce new tendencies and even created states. The thing which differs a leader from others is his/her ability to act in complicated situations, accept difficult decisions, and impact a team organizing its functioning in the most efficient way (Demiroz and Kapucu 103). A leaders contribution to the improvement of any situation and decision making becomes especially evident in emergent situations when immediate and complex actions are needed. It is possible to analyze one of such situations and the role a leader plays using the movie Apollo 13 and its characters as the background.

Jim Lovell is one of the main characters of the story. His figure is chosen for the investigation as he is an Apollo 13 commander and obviously has a unique responsibility. It is his main task to guarantee the final success of the mission and ensure that all people will return home alive. For this reason, he is also a leader that controls the functioning of a team, the collaboration of its members, and tries to attain its increased effectiveness. Watching the movie, we could say that he manages to accomplish this task. First of all, he cares for the good atmosphere within the collective, supportiveness, and mutual understanding. When one of the members of his team is not able to participate in the mission, he is about to refuse because of the great attention given to his team members feelings (Apollo 13). Moreover, when crucial problems are discovered, and astronauts start to blame each other, Lovell is the first to solve the problem and the argument (Apollo 13). In other words, all his actions could be applied to the model of team leadership as he possesses the basic qualities needed to become a leader and monitors the team to support each member, improve their cooperation, and guarantee the success of the mission (Demiroz and Kapucu 108).

Jack Swigert is another notable character in this movie. He is a new member of the collective, and this fact determines the character of his relations with other astronauts participating in the Apollo 13 mission. Every team has its own unique atmosphere and traditions which should be understood by a new member to become its part. However, Swigert does not have time for it, and his leadership qualities, and relations within a team suffer. Haise blames him for the lack of experience and the overall failure (Apollo 13). The given scene demonstrates that Swigert is not supported by all team members as he is still considered a new and even hostile element. However, he is assisted with Lovell, who remains a true leader and wants to protect every member of the collective to align its efficient functioning and guarantee that they will return home alive.

Altogether, we should say that both Lovell and Swigerts examples demonstrate to us different dimensions of team leadership. Efficient collaboration becomes crucial in those conditions, and Lovell as a commander and a true leader tries to support every member. Haise, Swigert, and Mattingly obviously feel this support and are able to cooperate in the most efficient way to return home. From this very example, we could understand the unique importance of the mutual understanding between all team members and the role a true leader should play in the establishment of this sort of relations.

Works Cited

Demiroz, Faith and Naim Kapucu, “The Role of Leadership in Managing Emergencies and Disasters“, European Journal of Economic and Political Studies, vol. 5, no. 1, 2012, pp. 91-101, Web.

Howard, Ron, director. Apollo 13. Universal Pictures, 1995.

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IvyPanda. (2020, November 14). Team Leadership in "Apollo 13" by Ron Howard. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/team-leadership-in-apollo-13-by-ron-howard/

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"Team Leadership in "Apollo 13" by Ron Howard." IvyPanda, 14 Nov. 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/team-leadership-in-apollo-13-by-ron-howard/.

1. IvyPanda. "Team Leadership in "Apollo 13" by Ron Howard." November 14, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/team-leadership-in-apollo-13-by-ron-howard/.


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IvyPanda. 2020. "Team Leadership in "Apollo 13" by Ron Howard." November 14, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/team-leadership-in-apollo-13-by-ron-howard/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'Team Leadership in "Apollo 13" by Ron Howard'. 14 November.

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