Lunar Leadership – A Case Study in People Management & Leadership

by Frank Ancharski |  Date Released : 09 Sep 2016

Step 1

First, obtain a DVD of the movie Apollo 13, the chapters referenced below will match with the DVD version and can be paused correctly when presenting to team participants.

Step 2

Secondly, watch it alone without stopping it but with a note pad. Identify leadership and people management engagements/scenarios in nearly all scenes with NASA flight control and the crew without the guideposts below.

Step 3

Thirdly, watch it a second time with the below scene and chapter guideposts. Stop after each chapter scene earmarked and take notes for a future leadership meeting or retreat. These guideposts will fuel management discussions of observations and “a..ha” moments from the movie related to people and operations in fitness facilities. The ideal plan would be to take two future management meetings for 1-2 hours each splitting up and reviewing the nine scenes identified below:

Scene 1: Chapter 8

“Supporting subordinates when questioned by superiors and supporting subordinates when questioned by other subordinates.”

  • Critical Quotes: “It was my call.” “We have two days to get it right.”
  • Key Learning: Know your audience and in what direction should support travel and towing the company line.
  • Discussion Points: Delaying an obvious fire, on-Boarding patience of a new hire, treatment of replacement person of popular employee. Blaming upper management.

Scene 2: Chapter 12

“Creating that lift off enthusiasm.”

  • Critical Quotes: “It was a fuel pump.” “A few bumps and we’ll be hauling the mail.”
  • Key Learning: Experience, confidence and high energy matter in leadership.
  • Discussion Points: Tone and energy of meetings and the facility. Who owns the commitment of training and on-boarding of new hires to completion? How many members should a leader interact with each day (10-25+ each day)? What is done for staff birthdays or anniversaries? What form of recognition is dated and needs revival/freshness?

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Frank Ancharski

About the author: Frank Ancharski

Frank J. Ancharski is currently COO at American Family Fitness, a large 9 club, private health club group based in Richmond, Williamsburg and Fredericksburg, VA. He is also Founder and Chief Coaching Officer at Club Coach Services, an independent consulting firm specializing in leading and inspiring owners, managers, and organizations. Previously, he was CEO at JRG Fitness, the then largest US franchisee of Snap Fitness 24/7 with 34 locations in the country. Frank was Vice President of Business Development at Active Sports Clubs, San Francisco, CA where he was responsible for driving new and existing business for East Coast managed properties primarily in the hospital, fitness, wellness, and community center space. His other past roles include General Manager at Life Time Fitness, Cary, NC; Vice President of Operations and Partner at Spiece Lifestyle Medical Center, Fort Wayne, IN; General Manager at Oxford Athletic Club, Pittsburgh, PA, and Partner & Vice-President at HealthPoint in Boston, MA. Frank holds an MS in Health Fitness Management from American University and a BS from Penn State University.

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