Leadership from the Mission Control Room to the Boardroom – A Book Review

Leadership from the Mission Control Room to the Boardroom: A Guide to Unleashing Team Performance is a book about the journey of the author as a NASA Director of Mission Operations. He has spent more than two decades in an environment known for its high degree of pressure to perform at one’s best. It is also a place where failure is always a possibility, can come with such catastrophic impact, and must be avoided at all cost. As the author goes up the management ladder, he shares lessons and insights that can help any organization and company to maintain the same intensity and focus on exceptional performance.

Book Details

The book measures about 6 in. wide, 0.9 in. thick, and 9 in. tall. It ships about 1.4 pounds. It has 360 pages divided in 14 chapters. The book is available in hardcover and paperback format. This first edition was published in May 2017 by Atlast Press in the English language. ISBN-10: 099863431X; ISBN-13: 978-0998634319


$16.99 for the paperback version and $29.11 for the hardcover version

Target Audience

Leadership from the Mission Control Room to the Boardroom is for senior executives and business leaders who have the authority and accountability to shape, direct, uphold and maintain a culture and environment of excellence in their respective organizations. It is also for management students interested in organizational management and behavior studies.

What Customers Say

Sam C. (Amazon) was grateful for the author’s documentation of his personal and organizational journey from the much respected place of NASA’s Mission Control. He stated that he use the same leadership principles mentioned in the book to build and lead his teams.

Alexandra H. (Amazon) described the author’s leadership theory as raw, real-time leadership when it matters most. She stated that she was able to get a glimpse of the tough conversations among decision makers. She recommends it to space enthusiasts and industry leaders.

Richard B. (Amazon) stated that the book introduces to the reader the same NASA MOD leadership values and roles that can be applied in any setting. He described the writing style as engaging, fortright and intense. The story of a personal journey to success, being able to understand missions and challenges, while accepting individual responsibility is very inspiring.

Content, Approach, Style

Content: Leadership from the Mission Control Room to the Boardroom is divided in 4 parts in 14 chapters. The first part includes Chapters 1 to 4, and is about the real-time morality and related values as practiced in Mission Control, and how it influenced their decision making, team and leadership performance, and the distinct leadership culture. The second part is about how promtion to higher management ranks dilute alignment to values and organizational purpose, how day-to-day management practices drown out values, and erode its way down into the organization. The third part is about how dialogue, discussion and introspection can lead to transformation, while the last part is about the author’s observations regarding his experience in tackling cultural critique and change.

Approach/Tone: The author provides the reader an insider view of the organization and its culture. Observations were described, implications explained, and lessons are taught to be applicable in a variety of settings.

Style: The book is narrated very well, giving the reader the insight of the time and how things evolve as the author starts, become acquainted with the environment, then promoted, becomes aware of the changes, and the effort to make the right transformations for the organization. The paragraphs are easy to read, the ideas are flowing, and the topic discussed and summarized. Historical references are also provided as well as images of the workplace.

Why Buy the Book

Leadership from the Mission Control Room to the Boardroom is a great reference for those in charge of organization culture that impacts team performance. It is a management guide for decision making and maintaining a work culture of excellent and reliable performance that NASA Mission Control is known for. The lessons and tips can be applied in a wide area of settings.


Paul Sean Hill is an executive consultant and speaker about leadership. He was Director of Operations at NASA from 2007 to 2014. During this time, he was responsible for all aspects of human spaceflight mission planning, training and Mission Control. Paul has spent 25 years at NASA, and held various roles including Manager of Shuttle Operations, and Deputy Director of Mission Operations. He also led flight preparation and execution of 24 missions. Before NASA, he was a US Air Force Captain and satellite operations officer. Paul received his Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in Aerospace Engineering at Texas A&M University.

$16.99 for the paperback version and $29.11 for the hardcover version


Jose Maria Delos Santos

Jose is a subject matter expert and member of the writing team for Project-Management.com and Bridge24. He has written hundreds of articles including project management software reviews, books reviews, training site reviews, and general articles related to the project management industry.