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Good morning, everyone, your host, Earl Breon. Here. You know, sometimes the burden of command is about goal setting and not just goal setting. But when you achieve the goals you've set, having the foresight to set new goals. So to highlight the importance of this, I'm going to go back to a kind of an old standby of mine. NASA shared a couple of stories of them already, and I'll probably share a lot more in the future. You seeking the answer, it was formed in 1958. It was designed originally to have space science as its primary function. And that did include some level of space exploration. You see, it wasn't until a little over three years later, when President Kennedy gave his famous speech. Rice University that we were going to choose to go to the moon, not because it was easy, but because it was hard. And he wanted to do it by the end of the decade. So they had about eight years from the time he gave the speech to get this done. So it's a three year old agency, given less than eight years to do something that nobody has ever done before. That was a lofty goal. It was a very, very lofty goal. It was going to require a lot of support. It was require a lot of money is going to require a lot of expertise. And as Kennedy admitted himself is going to require a lot of creation of technologies that didn't exist at the time that he gave the speech. Those are good goals for an organization to have. You know, it drives that innovation that drives in intuition. It drives a lot of the things that people strive for in everyday business. You know, people want to be challenged. They want to feel like they're fighting for a purpose. And giving, giving such a lofty goal such a short time table really gave everybody NASA that sense of purpose, that sense of belonging, if you will, before it was a popular term to use because they knew that they had to, they had to rely on each other, they had to listen to one another. They had to all be bought in if they were ever going to meet the mission. Now, they went through a couple of programs. There was the mercury and the Gemini and then Apollo, I may not have those the exact order but they're pretty close. But we all know that the Apollo program was the one that eventually landed on the moon and the way that these programs were set up where they each had their own set of goals, right. Each program was meant to do a certain thing. Can we break Earth's orbit? Check? Can we spend a long time In space with sustained manned spaceflight check, Now, can we get to the moon? That was phases of the Apollo program? Can we get to the moon check? Can we land on the moon? Okay. So we know that that happened. So we had a long term goal. And then we had shorter intermediate goals that got us to the overall objective. That was all good right now, where the wheels came off of this, that was there was no new goal, past landing on the moon. And what I mean by that is if you listen to Gene cranz talk, like almost almost the second that Apollo 11 landed on the moon. It wasn't what do we do next? It was like, okay, we've accomplished our objective. And they started cutting missions from the Apollo program. You know, I think they went from they were originally scheduled for about 18 and I think they ended up with 15. I think they had three off if I remember right. My numbers on that may be a little off. But the point is, is they cut instead of refocused. And, you know, it took a while for NASA to come up with new goals. I mean, obviously, we moved into the space shuttle program and the International Space Station and things like that. But it's the imagine with that momentum that the nation had with the momentum that NASA had, building up to the moon landing, if somebody in the organization had have said, Okay, this is it, we're getting ready to achieve this goal. We need to focus on what's next. You know, here we are, you know, 50 years later. And we're just now talking about something like going to Mars. Imagine if immediately we land on the moon, we do some science expeditions and all that good stuff. And then then somebody steps up and says the next goal is Mars. You know, and that's the danger with Is with not setting new goals. Once you achieve the goals you had said, you can get lazy, you can get complacent, you can feel like you've won, things can get a little stagnant. That initiative that you had all of that momentum can be gone. You can do all the right things up to a certain point. But if you fail to keep that flowing, it can cause some major issues. Now, it's hard to say for an organization like NASA that failing to do this caused, quote, major issues, as I said before, they still do really good work. They still do a lot of great science, they still have a mission, but like I said, Just imagine for a second if you will, all of the love, all the passion, all the support.
If all of that it just been turned to, again, let's just say getting getting to Mars. You know, we may have already been to Mars and no all The answers that we're seeking right now, as far as colonization, all those things go, you know, if you follow all of the, the really smart people and I'm throwing up air quotes, like you can see, you know, Mars is the next step for for human civilization according to according to a lot of folks. Well, now we're, you know, 50 years down the road, and we could have already been there. But you know, think about your organization for a second one is the big project that is taking up center stage, and you have all of your resources push towards it. What happens when you achieve it? What is next? Yeah, sure, take a little bit of time to celebrate. take a little time to revel in your success. But have the next thing capture that momentum. Keep that thing going. That's what successful leaders do. They never let their team get complacent. They never let their team get happy with success. You know, there's a concept that Want to do it really, really short here, but there's a concept Simon cynics has actually been talking about lately, a lot. And he's got a new book out around and called the infinite game. But as a concept, it goes back quite a few years called the the finite and infinite game. But the finite game at very basic point is a game that has a strict set of rules, has strict definitions for winning. And the rules can't change during gameplay or else the the whole thing be thrown into chaos. And that's kind of the game that NASA was playing. They knew what their objective was. They knew what winning looks like. They met that objective, and they didn't have anything else to go on. The Infinite game, however, is one that is designed specifically. The definition for success is kind of unclear, and it's evolving. The purpose of an infinite game is to keep the game going so rules can change. As long as all of the players agree the rules can change. Again, that's a very basic look at FNA infinite game. But that's what you should be playing you should be playing in an infinite game. You know, if you look at the the Japanese principle of Kaizen, that's an infinite game. It literally means continual improvement. If you're always looking to get better, you're never going to be best, you're never going to be good enough because you're always looking to be better. And that's when that mindset is so successful. It doesn't matter what the increment is, better is better. So look, don't make massive mistake. Don't set these really great, really fantastic, very lofty goals that are going to do a great job of getting everybody bought in. Until and then until is until success is met. You can if you want to play the finite game if you want to be a company that does one thing is known for one One thing, and that's it, that's fine. Some people are perfectly happy with it. And maybe that is the game you want to play. But the the organizations that have long term continual success are the ones that really do play that infinite game. They are continually looking to improve. They're continually looking for the next thing, not out of unhappiness, not out of not being good enough, but knowing that they have the talent, knowing that they have the know how knowing that they have the momentum behind them, to be able to achieve those great things. So there it is. Don't think NASA's mistake. Don't set those goals that you aren't going to follow up with with new goals. Have a set of goals ready to go once you achieve what you're working on now. Keep your team motivated, keep your team moving, and achieve great things. Again, my name is Earl Breon. I'm the host of the burden of command podcast which you've just been listening to. If you haven't gotten Man's questions or concerns for me, please reach out at burden dot command at gmail. com. That's burden dot email@example.com. Please be sure when you're listening to this to go down and click the subscribe button. At the very least please give us a rating and review that really helps the show's visibility and helps us grow. If you have any ideas for future guests stories you'd like to share questions you'd like answered on the show that burden command at gmail. com is the best way to do it. Follow us on social media will have the links to all that stuff here in the show notes begin on there and we really appreciate your support. So with that, I'm going to say keep those shields up. And I look forward to speaking with you again in the next episode.
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