"Safety first " has been the motto of the human race for half a million years; but it has never been the motto of leaders. A leader must face danger. He must take the risk and the blame, and the brunt of the storm.
Indecision is debilitating; it feeds upon itself; it is, one might almost say, habit-forming. Not only that, but it is contagious; it transmits itself to others. . . . Business is dependent upon action. It cannot go forward by hesitation. Those in executive positions must fortify themselves with facts and accept responsibility for decisions based upon them. Often greater risk is involved in postponement than in making a wrong decision.
If we die, do not mourn for us. This is a risky business we're in, and we accept those risks. The space program is too valuable to this country to be halted for too long if a disaster should ever happen.
Source: three weeks before he was killed in the Apollo 1 fire.