“Good Luck, Mr Gorsky”


Getting employees to engage with the organisation in a meaningful and lasting way fills the core of most HR team’s day/ month/ year. Doing this early in the recruitment process pays dividends further down the line in deeper engagement and alignment with organisation goals, vision and mission. When should we start? Here’s a story, which tells us that the earlier you start, the more memorable it is.

On July 20, 1969, as commander of The Apollo 11 lunar module, Neil Armstrong was the first person to set foot on the moon. His first words after stepping on the moon, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” were televised to earth and heard by millions. But just before he re-entered The Lander, he made the enigmatic remark – “Good luck, Mr. Gorsky.”

Many people at NASA thought it was a casual remark concerning some rival Soviet Cosmonaut. However, upon checking, there was no Gorsky in either the Russian or American space programmes. Over the years, many people questioned Armstrong as to what the ‘Good luck, Mr. Gorsky’ statement meant, but Armstrong always just smiled.

On July 5, 1995, in Tampa Bay, Florida , while answering questions following a speech, a reporter brought up the 26-year-old question about Mr. Gorsky to Armstrong.

This time he finally responded because Mr. Gorsky had died, so Neil Armstrong felt he could now answer the question. Here is the answer to “who was Mr. Gorsky”:

In 1938, when he was a kid in a small mid-western town, he was playing baseball with a friend in the backyard. His friend hit the ball, which landed in his neighbour’s yard by their bedroom window.

His neighbours were Mr. and Mrs. Gorsky. As he leaned down to pick up the ball, young Armstrong heard Mrs. Gorsky shouting at Mr. Gorsky,

“Sex! You want sex?! You’ll get sex when the kid next door walks on the moon!”

NASA transcripts show that he did not say those immortal words, however let’s not allow truth to get in the way of a good story!

Have your best week ever.

Mervyn Murray


#communication #decisionmaking #coaching #Teamwork #motivation #relationships #emotionalintelligence #leadership

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