On this 50th anniversary of Apollo 11, please take a moment and read about Denny Gioia's recollections of how being part of a team doing something so extraordinary provided such a profound sense of purpose. Here's one short excerpt:
"All these activities and every part of this experience not only gave me a sense of awe but also gave me a profound sense of purpose and a sense of commitment, belonging and team membership that I had never experienced before and would never experience again. Never since have I been associated with anything so big, so team-oriented, so energizing or so successful. There was something special here that had little to do with camaraderie (although there was plenty of that), but much more to do with shared sense of a high-aspiration mission...which is one reason I think the greatest motivation/leadership story in the whole wide world is the “Shaping a Stone” story."
(“In the olden days of crenelated towers, benign kings, and gallant knights, a young man walking down a road, came upon an unhappy laborer pounding away at a stone with a hammer and chisel. The lad asked the worker, ‘What are you doing?’ The laborer answered in a frustrated voice, ‘I’m trying to shape this stone and it is backbreaking work’. The youth continued on his way and soon came upon another man diligently chipping away at a similar stone, who looked neither happy nor unhappy. ‘What are you doing?’ he asked. ‘I’m shaping a stone for a building’, came the reply. The teen went on and before long came to a third worker chipping away at yet another stone, but this worker was smiling as he worked. ‘And what are you doing?’, he once again asked. The worker replied, ‘I am building a cathedral!’ Many versions of this story exist in the public domain, one of which has President John Kennedy visiting a NASA facility and asking a janitor what his job was; the janitor replied, ‘I’m helping send a man to the moon!’”)