Professor Steve Squyres served as former chair member of the NASA advisory council and space science advisory committee, he inspired books used in the history of exploration. He was the principal investigator for the Mars Investigator rover. He came in to talk to us about his story of being a leader when sending rovers to Mars and how it has led up to him doing what he does today.
He worked on the Mars Exploration Rover project in an environment where everyone collectively understood the machine they were working on. He was working on creating an organization where through effective leaders, they can create a team of people who are collectively able to do something like this. He talked about Robert Goddard who developed the first liquid fuel rocket, he worked alone and was a true genius who built rockets where he understood every single component. His rocket launched only getting up to about 9000 feet because he worked on it and did everything himself. If you are unwilling to give away control and technical control of project you will reach only 9000 feet.
Steve Squyres worked on a project where they had to invent stuff along the way and as a leader had to compile his team by looking for people with the right skill mix and people who had previously demonstrated they could subjugate their ambitions. Those who had the willingness to be a team player. He talked about a bad leader, and how they are liked by those above them and dislike by those below them, for good leaders it is reversed. And I feel like that says a lot about leaders and how they are viewed by their followers.
After class it was raining, absolutely pouring and my classmates were messing with me by asking how I was enjoying this weather. Very funny. McKayla and I et up with some of our friends who are psych students and we went to College town to get bubble milk tea, which I have never tried in Ithaca before so I of course had to before leaving. I took some pictures with the Cornell sign because did I even really attend Cornell if I didn’t?
We came back to Balch while getting soaked even with umbrellas, where I finished up my essay a whole day early, I was very satisfied with being able to have a whole day to have people be able to proof read with and just get that last essay out of the way. I wrote about the characteristics and principles of Amundsen and the ways they were demonstrated compared to Scott, showing how he lacked in certain areas which lead to the failure and tragic end of his story. We also had a meeting with our RCA, Emma about check-out and when to sign up for it, which it made it really settle in even more about leaving. And how fast this whole thing has gone by. But I’m ready to just be done with my final assignments and take back with me this new chapter to my story.