On July 22nd, 1962, the New York Times newspaper headline read the following: “Missing Hyphen Blamed in Rocket Failure.”
It was hard to believe that a small hyphen in a computer readout caused the destruction of a huge, powerful missile. But that is what is believed to have happened so many years ago.
Maybe you’ve heard the old Proverb,
“For want of a nail, a horseshoe was lost; for want of a horseshoe, a rider was lost; for want of a rider, a battle was lost; for want of a battle, a war was lost.”
The loss of the war, in other words, was connected to the loss of a nail. Apparently that is the same thing that happened with the Rocket failure.
On the day in question, a Venus space probe launch vehicle, boosted by an eighteen-million-dollar U.S. Atlas Rocket, was lost because a hyphen was missing from a computer equation.
Richard Morrison, a NASA official, told the House Space Committee investigating the incident that the missing hyphen caused a mathematical miscue. Morrison said, “The hyphen gives a cue for the spacecraft to ignore the data the computer feeds it until radar contact is once again restored. When the hyphen is left out, false information is fed into the spacecraft control system.”
In the case of the Rocket Failure, the missing hyphen caused the computer to send a “hard left, nose down” signal and the vehicle obeyed.
No one knows who left out the hyphen. No one would say. While there was speculation, no official blame was placed on any one person.
What is the moral of this story?
Within each one of us there is a hyphen that belongs in our life. That small hyphen may not seem like much, but without it we crash.
It’s the same way with our leadership. If we want powerful, breakthrough leadership… if we want to be everything we are called and have the gifting to be, we need that hyphen in our life!
What is the hyphen?
That hyphen is time alone with God! Its daily prayer… time in God’s Word… and time in silence as we listen to the voice of God.
That’s what it takes to keep our life on course!
That’s what it takes to be a breakthrough leader!
That’s what it takes to be the man or woman we are called to be!
Are you breakthrough leader? Spend time alone with God every day and you will be!
If we can help you grow as you develop yourself as a leader, please do not hesitate to reach out to us and schedule a One-on-One Free Coaching Session. We’re here for you!