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“Refuse good advice and watch your plans fail; take good counsel and watch them succeed” (Proverbs 3:21). We can say it another way: Heed wise counsel, or watch your hopes be cancelled.

The hard won truth of this proverb is evident in an experience that riveted my generation. In January of 1985 Roger Boisjoly, an engineer for Morton Thiokol, observed that under unusually cold conditions, an o-ring seal on the Space Shuttle’s solid rocket booster would fail. Further tests were done, and in July of 1985 Boisjoly wrote a memo to the Vice President of Engineering at Morton Thiokol which stated: “It is my honest and very real fear that if we do not take immediate action to dedicate a team to solve the problem, … then we stand in jeopardy of losing a [space shuttle] flight…” (Roger Boisjoly January 1985 ).

Even in the hours leading up to the launch of the Challenger in January of 1986, Boisjoly and other engineers were stating their belief that it was not safe to launch the shuttle. Despite the engineer’s concerns, a general manager for Morton Thikol said, “We have to make a management decision”...

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