“Houston … We have a problem.”
These famous or infamous words were said over three decades ago and close to a million miles away. On April 13th, 1970, James Lovell, commander of Apollo 13, uttered these words following an explosion in the ship’s oxygen tanks. His journey to the surface of the moon was over. His life was literally on the line.
What lay ahead was nothing but uncertainty. There was uncertainty with respect to what the obstacles were going to be. There was uncertainty as to whether or not those obstacles could be overcome. And, as you could imagine, he was thinking “am I going to make it?”
What Are Your Intentions?
Aboard Apollo 13, in the face of this adversity and uncertainty, Lovell turned to his crew and simply asked “Gentlemen, what are your intentions?” In so asking, he wanted to know if his shipmates were content with letting fate determine their destiny or whether they committed to controlling the course of their lives.
The crew of Apollo 13 responded. Commander Lovell, John Swigert, and Fred Haise sought to control the situation. Using ingenuity and relying on a network of thousands of NASA employees, contractors and governments from around the world, they guided the crippled Apollo 13 craft a million miles through space into a small re-entry window and successfully back to Mother Earth.
Bringing the lesson back to earth
So what does this have to do with you, your network and personal brand? Plenty. Although your situation is never anywhere near as dire as that of Apollo 13, nevertheless from time to time you face adversity. In short, your life has troubling times and your life has uncertain times – financially, physically and emotionally.
So this all begs one simple question, What Are Your Intentions?
Just as with the crew of Apollo 13, you should not allow fate or chance to determine your destiny or tarnish your brand. Rather you need to commit to control the course of your life by relying on your own ingenuity. But more importantly, just as the crew of Apollo 13 did, you need to tap into the network of people in your life. All of these people are ready, willing and able to assist you with genuine help, new connections and even simple encouragement.
If you do this, your network will flourish, your brand will grow in stature, and there is no doubt that you will have a safe landing whenever times in your life become seemingly out of control.
Frank Agin is the founder and president of AmSpirit Business Connections. In addition, Frank is the author of Foundational Networking: Building Know, Like and Trust To Create A Lifetime of Extraordinary Success and the co-author of LinkedWorking: Generating Success on the World’s Largest Professional Networking Website and The Champion: Finding the Most Valuable Person in Your Network.