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People Management Assignment: Critical Analysis On Various Aspects Of The Movie “Apollo 13”


Task: Prepare a People management assignment investigating discussing the various aspects of people management and leadership style in the movie named Apollo 13.


The present People management assignment is investigating the theory and practice of learning, managing and developing people in the context of project management. In recent years, people management is one of the important factors, which helps to achieve organisational growth and market value. For any organisation, people are the most important asset; as their attitude and performance are to create a direct impact on the organisation. For any organisation and its manager, managing these people is the toughest job. The manager of people management team is often responsible for motivating, encouraging the employees. In addition to this, they are the ones who hire an efficient employee, train them properly based on the organisational needs. Moreover, people management is also known as human resource management. The human resource management team of an organisation fulfils various tasks such as hiring, organising the development method, maintaining the safety, monitoring the wellness, providing benefits, motivating the employees, communicating and train them. In addition to this, after hiring a skilled employee the organisation needs to use all their potentials to an utmost level. The organisation needs to have various sets of rules and regulations that provide a scope of constant development and improvement to these employees. To manage these employees effectively the company needs to a strong leader with skills of interacting with people.

The leadership theory that is evident in this Apollo 13 movie is related to the transformational leadership. The study paper on people management assignment defines various aspects of people management and leadership style in the movie named Apollo 13.

Broad overview of the topic
The main topic of this study examined in the people management assignment focuses on the people management in an organisation, managing a huge number of people or employees at the same time are a bit tough job to crack. To deal with this huge number of people the organisation needs to implement an effective leadership style that develops the employee’s skill and organisational performance and further it helps to manage employees in an accurate way. The prime context of this people management deals with the leadership issues and its managing and developing skill based on the movie of Apollo 13. Apollo 13 is famous, which is based on the real life story of NASA’s lunar mission. The study paper defines various aspects of the people management based on this storyline and tries to define the people management in an accurate way (Loftus, 2013).

In the context of history, this Apollo 13 lunar mission became one of the death defying adventures. Three astronauts named Jim Lovell, Fred Haise, and Jack Swigert found them in a joined vehicle that has no power and fuel. Anyone who has seen the movie knows very well that the major issue faced by the mission explored in the context of this people management assignment is related to their course correction process. This mission is known as a successful failure in the space history it failed because it was never landed in its destination but, successful in a way where the entire crew of NASA gave their heart and soul to the crew. Based on the movie named Apollo 13 examined in the segments of People management assignment; the leader and the main characters of the movie Gene Kranz and Jim Lovell are following the transformational leadership qualities within them. The movie is about the mission of NASA’s Apollo program. The leader Jim motivated and encouraged the entire crew throughout the mission, especially in the time when it was facing a series of misfortunes. Jim motivated the entire crew by staying calm and optimistic (Dave, 2011).

people management assignment

Apollo 13 movie scene
Source: (Haviland, 2015)

Based on this case of people management assignment, it is quite evident that there are some lessons one can take from the successful failure of Apollo 13. In the danger to NASA, the priority was to save the astronauts life and nothing else and to do his NASA and its team took a risk and maintained communication throughout the process finally managed the entire risk efficiently.

Literature Review
Apollo 13 is a gem of a movie that had much a realistic and accurate approach in its genre. The movie used to prepare this People management assignment filled within visionary leadership and management lessons that can help a person to learn many things on people and project management. Through the entire movie transformational leadership style was quite visible and the project Apollo 13 gave innumerable lessons on team formation, bonding, leadership and many more. Gene Kranz in the movie has been an excellent example of a leader who believes in transformational leadership and is concerned about the safety each of the astronauts who had been involved in the mission. There is one much a famous quote from the move that states ‘We've never lost an American in space, we're sure as hell not going to lose one on my watch! (Loftus, 2013).

As per the research on the movie used to develop the contents of People management assignment, Gene Kranz was an evident example of a responsible leader who was dedicated towards his team and prorated its wellbeing. It can be observed that at the moment of crisis that people react adversely and keep on blaming one another. However, when working in a team, it is important to comprehend that whatever the situation is, it is the responsibility of each of the team members along with the leaders to help to overcome. The quote inj this case is brilliant lesson given by the movie.

people management assignment

A quote from the movie Apollo 13
Source: (Rahman, 2017)

This is an example of the dialogue delivered by Gene Kranz when Apollo 13 faced a disaster in space and this behaviour of a project leader is really an example to take inspiration from.

The movie accurately illustrated the 13th mission of the Apollo program of NASA. From the movie it can be understood that the leader in this case followed charismatic leadership and transformational leadership style to motivate the people associated with the program and responsibly handle the risk if arises.

As per the investigation carried on this People management assignment, charismatic leadership is a style in which a leader encourages a specific way of behaviour with persuasion, charisma and eloquent communication. Leaders have a great capability of influencing the followers so that they can improve their way to work and can make the project successful. The leadership style in the movie also exhibited transformational leadership where Gene Kranz never let his group members lose focus and hope and motivated constantly to do better so that the astronauts can land back to the earth safely. This showed that he had the tendency to keep the team members motivated and inspired them to create a change so that success can be achieved. In addition to this, his quote that failure is not an option helped the employees to keep motivated throughout the period of crisis and deal with it effectively by alternative measures.

According to (Halamek, 2010) behavioural skills like leadership, effective communication, and team work works to be one of the crucial factors for getting success outcomes, be it is in business or in patient care and Apollo movie 13 is one such example in this case. In handling a project, it is the responsibility of the leader to understand the situation and take appropriate decisions so that the situations can be dealt with in an effective manner. However, this skills and behaviours are paid least attention especially in healthcare as the professionals have little or no formal education or training in applying it. The author considers this movie to be one such example which can be used to infuse these skills among the professionals so that they can deal with patient care related projects and programs efficiently. It can be seen from the movie that that the crew of Apollo 13 had been dealing with a number of life threatening medical and technical issues that they needed to overcome for returning to their home planet safely. The leader Gene Kranz in this uses the stimulation to improve the performance of the associated team members and reduce the risks as much as possible and is highly realistic in its approach. The scenes that have been taken into consideration in this People management assignment can effectively assist not only the healthcare professionals but also in every professional sector. While managing a project it is important for a leader to effectively understand the people associated so that they can be lead and guided ion an efficient way and also they are able to improve their skills and qualities. It somewhere makes the people associated much more capable and improves their way of comprehending by making them learn continuously. This helps the leader to organise the entire work procedure in a systematic way so that the desired out is achieved. However, if the leaders fail to do so, the people associated lose the way and feel de-motivated to work for better.

As stated by (Sullivan, 2015), everyone is well aware of the quote failure is not an option which Gene kranz said at the end of the scene of crisis. The readings of the author used in this section of People management assignment states that while teaching leadership to the statisticians, the scene acts to be one of the greatest references. Every leader has to develop their own unique style of leading through which he is able to manage the project and the people associated in an effective manner. While leading and managing projects it is important to influence the people associated as a leader for better and improved performance and capability. The author believes it to be the building block has a much deeper approach in reality. There are various critical aspects of leadership and entails much a greater responsibility and commitment. Leadership is not just about, managing and supervising but also requires dedication and accountability towards the uncertainties and adversities. In this case of people management assignment, it is the responsibility of the leaders to look after the wellbeing of the members associated. In workplace environment, this movie and its leadership lessons offers robust leadership and management lessons through any difficult project and uncertainties related to it can be handled in an effective management so that the people associated can always get to learn something new and make their experience grow.

Leaders when leading, managing and developing people in a project has to keep in mind various factors so that the desired outcome can be achieved. In addition to this, the readings used to prepare this people management assignment also signifies that the project leaders need to have a lot of skills like communication, accountability, honesty, flexibility, planning vision and management as an integral part so that the leaders are able to articulate the project visions and goal and is able to control it in a systematic way (Donnelly, 2019). The leaders when have a clear vision about the outcome of the project is able to deal with the adversities in an effective manner and take effective decisions in time of crisis which can also be seen throughout the movie Apollo 13. In the project context of Apollo 13, the leader constantly kept the crew motivated and offered them the needed support in time of crisis so that they can help out. He had a clear vision if what he wanted and always prioritised the team members so that better effort can be applied. In addition to this, the study used to prepare this People management assignment also states that the leadership style of Gene Kranz also assisted the crew to learn from their mistakes continuously for better team work.

According to (French, 2016) leading, managing and helping people to develop is a part of everyday corporate life. Leaders in this case has a huge role to play so that they can influence the employees and keep them motivated to put in better effort into the work so that the organisation is able yield its targeted outcome. In the context of various projects, at times it becomes a bit complex as the entire situation turns out to be thoroughly demanding. The leaders have to deal with day-today challenges that are associated with the project and affect its success factors. In this it is required to communicate the project visions and guide the people towards better performance. This helps the leaders to control the entire operations and deal with the risks and threats in an effective way. In can be noticed in the context of Apollo 13 within this people management assignment that the way Gene Kranz behaved in the period of crisis and was determined to bring the crew back on Earth unharmed shows the power a leader has while facing threatening challenges.

As (Hillson, 2017) states, risks are indispensible factors in case of projects and the main task here turns out to be the recognition of project needs and managing them competently. Risks if are not managed in a project it would be impossible to make it a success and encourage the employees to put in better effort. In project management context, leaders have the responsibility to look for the needs and requirements of the team members so that they can be catered to. In addition to this, the leaders also assist the employees through training and learning so that their skills and knowledge can develop further. In project management, risks management is important to get the desired outcome. The leaders mainly take control of the probable uncertainties that can act as a hindrance and is more proactive in nature. It can be seen in case of the movie Apollo 13 discussed in this People management assignment, that the leader took much practical decision in the crisis period rather than dealing with reactively. Having a proactive approach assists the leaders in chalking out better ways to management the risks and manages the entire project in an effective manner.

The example of leadership offered in the case of Apollo 13 examined in the segments of people management assignment shows that leading, managing and developing people in the context of a project entails a greater responsibility and accountability towards the decisions that have been made. As stated by (Harrison, 2017), leading, managing and assisting people to develop in a project management context requires a lot of dedication and focus. The main role of the leader outlined here in the context of this people management assignment is to motivate the people so that they can develop the courage to act sensibly in adverse situations and is able to deal with it properly. In case of Apollo 13, Gene Karnz never fails to motivate the crew members and always motivated them to perform better. Even in such critical situation, he failed to bow down and kept his entire team motivated stating the failure can never be an option for an individual. He is a strong example of leadership in practical project management scenario and teaches the practice of leading managing and developing people practically.

The concluding statement of this study paper on people management assignment suggests that people management is an efficient factor that needs to be taken care of future growth and incensement. The people management is related to human resource management where it maintains some responsibilities like hiring the best employee to manage them and train them. Apart from this, train them and motivate them also falls under the responsibilities of a people management manager. In addition to this, a successful organisation very much depends on the factor of how the people management team is leading the employees and using their abilities. To manage an efficient people management team the organisation needs to have a leader who can guide the fellow employees. Based on the case of the Apollo 13 movie focused in this people management assignment, the leader was following the transformational leadership style. The transformational leaders are mainly known for encouraging; motivating the employee so that the employees can adapt the change, which further shapes the organisational failure. In this case, the Apollo lunar mission might have failed but the entire team gave their 200 precent to save the crew. This presents the example of transformation leadership where the team was motivated and encouraged by the leaders.

Dave. (2011, August 18). people management assignment Top 5 leadership movies: Apollo 13. Retrieved November 16, 2019, from

Donnelly, G. (2019, january 29). Why Developing Leadership Skills Matters for Project Management. Retrieved november 13, 2019, from

French, R. a. (2016). Leading, managing and developing people. Kogan Page Publishers.

Halamek. (2010, 0ctober 5). Lost moon, saved lives: using the movie Apollo 13 as a video primer in behavioral skills for simulation trainees and instructors. Retrieved November 16, 2019, from

Harrison. (2017). people management assignment Leadership theory and research: A critical approach to new and existing paradigms. Springer.

Haviland, K. (2015, Apr 13). Enduring Leadership Lessons from Apollo 13. Retrieved November 16, 2019, from

Hillson, D. (2017). Managing Risk in Projects. london.

Loftus, G. (2013, Apr 03). Retrieved November 16, 2019, from

Rahman, K. (2017, may 21). Top Leadership and Management Lessons we can learn from “Apollo-13” and “Hidden Figures. Retrieved november 16, 2019, from

Sullivan. (2015). people management assignment Leadership and Women in Statistics.


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