One Giant Leap
The Untold Story of How We Flew to the Moon
If we want to achieve near-impossible outcomes, under tremendous pressure, we can. That’s the most important lesson, and the most important inspiration, from the race to the Moon in the 1960s. In his new book, One Giant Leap, #1 New York Times bestselling author Charles Fishman tells the story of the Moon landing as it has never been told before—bringing to life the impossibility of the challenge President Kennedy set before NASA and the nation, and bringing to life the ordinary people who made it happen.
When JFK said, “We should go to the Moon,” NASA had no rockets that could launch to the Moon, no spaceship that could fly there, no spacesuits, and certainly no car that could drive on the Moon. Eight years later, the astronauts were planting the American flag at Tranquility Base. How do you achieve the kind of teamwork, the kind of innovation-on-demand, that Apollo required? Fishman unpacks the long-forgotten lessons from the race to the Moon for managing complexity and high-stakes projects today. The story is riveting, and the lessons of the 1960s—how to unify people around a common mission, despite divisions and challenge—feel fresh and urgent in the current climate.
In talks filled with memorable stories, based on years of original research, Fishman captures the astonishing accomplishment of ordinary people who achieved something beyond what even they thought possible, to put America on the Moon. Fifty years after the first lunar landing, Fishman shows audiences what we can learn from those men and women about creativity, innovative thinking, leadership and the importance of NASA’s wholly original management approach. Fishman’s talks will help you and your team perform at peak—refining collaboration, problem-solving, and that thing we all seem to struggle with: timeliness. Why does it take so long to get everything done today—when we can actually do everything so much faster?
Fishman—a three-time winner of the prestigious Gerald Loeb Award for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism—is a renowned investigative and explanatory journalist, and no stranger to NASA. He spent six months covering the Challenger space shuttle disaster as a national reporter for The Washington Post, and has reported on space ever since, for The Atlantic, Fast Company, and Smithsonian. Fishman is also the author of The Wal-Mart Effect, the New York Times bestseller that was the first book to get inside Wal-Mart and explain how the world’s largest company really works. He is also the author of The Big Thirst: The Secret Life and Turbulent Future of Water, the bestselling book about water in a generation. Fishman is a contributor to The Atlantic, Fast Company, and Smithsonian, and is also the co-author of the #1 New York Times bestseller, A Curious Mind, about the power of curiosity, with Hollywood producer Brian Grazer.