This story is about classic management principles that apply across a broad spectrum of disciplines. Whether involved with a space program or running a manufacturing or service firm, these principles apply. None of these are revelations, but in our hustle-bustle daily haste, it’s worthwhile to revisit them.

Recently, I attended a seminar presented by former astronaut Story Musgrave, an incredibly accomplished man who flew six Apollo missions, is a trauma surgeon, runs three different businesses and has earned seven graduate degrees. The leadership, teamwork and motivational principles he applies to his NASA and other work can be effective tools in our daily responsibilities.

The first principle, vigilance, is important during normal times but absolutely crucial during economic downturns. We must laser focus on every aspect of our businesses – sales, resources, spending and cash flow. An “early-warning” or “red flag” system is mandatory toward providing timely notice of any impending problems. If we do not have a handle on where our money is going each month, it’s too late to figure it out at year-end.

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Robert Cutrona, President of Project One Services, is a director of Business Trends and a long time member of the BUCKS BUSINESS NETWORK.