November 5; Do The Rules of Marriage Apply to the Practice of Management?
MANAGEMENT BY THE BOOK:
365 Daily Bible Verse &
One-Minute Management Lessons For The Busy Faithful

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Chapter Eleven: Failure; 5 November

The wife does not have authority over her own body

but yields it to her husband.

In the same way,

the husband does not have authority over his own body

but yields it to his wife.

1 Corinthians 7:4

Do The Rules of Marriage Apply to the Practice of Management?

Until death do us part

On July 2, 1937 at ten in the morning aviatrix Amelia Earhart boarded her twin engine Lockheed 10E “Electra,” took off from Lae, New Guinea bound for Howland Island and was never seen again.

She wasn’t alone. Sitting a few feet behind her in the aircraft cockpit was her navigator Fred Noonan, 43. As Earhart piloted, Noonan plotted the couple’s course around the world.

The next leg of their mission over vast open water was the most challenging. Amelia said, “Howland is such a small spot in the Pacific that every aid to locating it must be available.”

Earhart’s decision to hire Noonan to find that small spot turned out to be a fatal error.

Aerial Navigating was an inexact science pre-World War II, pre-GPS. Navigation was almost as much art as science requiring attention to detail, wisdom and judgment– especially when locating a tiny island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

Amelia Earhart at 39 may have had the track record to manage this ambitious and dangerous project. She held speed and altitude records and was the first woman to fly the Atlantic solo in 1932. All she needed was technology and a world-class team for another milestone in aviation history: The first woman to fly around the world.

Lockheed had the plane–a “flying laboratory” that would demonstrate American ingenuity to the world. Eugene Vidal, director of the Bureau of Air Commerce, backed the venture with government resources. Finally, Amelia needed to recruit a skilled navigator.

Fred Noonan’s resume was stellar as a celestial navigator. He was an expert maritime ship’s master who moved to the new challenge of airships. He developed airborne map-reading with Pan American World Airways and charted the PanAm Clipper routes across the Pacific.

He was also a drunk.

Noonan had the chaos that accompanies boozing. The twice-married Noonan was fired by PanAm and had received a traffic citation for causing a head-on car crash while “driving in the wrong lane.” Nevertheless Amelia hired Noonan to pick her flight lane around the world.

The best indication of future performance is past performance. On the layover in Calcutta, Noonan got drunk. On the last stop in Lae he was drunk again. He would nurse a hangover on the flight to Howland Island. Noonan would not let a little trip around the world slow down his drinking.

Research suggests that Earhart and Noonan came to earth on Nikumaroro Island in the Republic of Kiribati 400 miles from Howland.

They got lost. And died.

Evidence surfaced that Amelia Earhart landed safely, lived and died on a desert island attempting her around-the-world flight.

Amelia Earhart did not think simple rules applied to her. She had an open marriage to publisher George Putnam where they were not bound by a “medieval code of faithfulness.” She did not have to obey traditional rules of wedlock and ignored the conventions of business in her due diligence on Fred Noonan.

But the traditional rules of management would not be so forgiving. She committed the biggest failure a manager can make: Amelia made a bad hire.

She then ditched her husband and ditched her plane.

The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. 1 Corinthians 7:4

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