Savour the Small Stuff

Image by NASA, via Wikimedia Commons. In 1978 six astronauts who had been in training at the Johnson Space Center for almost a year are getting a sample of weightlessness. They are onboard the NASA KC-135 that uses a special parabolic pattern to create brief periods of microgravity, affording astronauts and astronaut candidates a preview of spaceflight. These flights are nicknamed the “vomit comet” because of the nausea that is often induced.

More wise words from Chris Hadfield this week. Why not write down three things that you could savour right now.  It could be a good conversation, your walk in the park or something small that made you laugh. Whatever works for you.  It’ll boost your dopamine and your performance at work today.  This and other techniques can energise us all and are a key part of our Positive Leadership, Peak Performance course.

“What we do in space is serious, yes, but it’s also incredibly fun. It’s not just about the epic EVA but the M&Ms dancing merrily inside the package, colliding colourfully in weightlessness,” says Commander Chris Hadfield in his book ‘An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth’.

Here’s Our Pithy Quote from the Book #5

“Life is full of so many small unexpected pleasures, not just in space but right here on Earth and I think I see them more clearly now than I used to because microgravity insists you pay attention. Weightlessness is like a new toy you get to unwrap every day, again and again.

It’s a great reminder too that you need to savour the small stuff, not just sweat it”.

Savouring the good things is a key habit which research shows boosts resilience, well-being and performance at work. Even on the tough days we can find something to celebrate for ourselves and with our teams.  It’ll energise you and the people around you.

Enjoy!

If you would like to learn an evidence based approach to energising yourself and others, do contact us and we can show you how we tackle this on our courses.

Buy Chris Hadfield’s book on Amazon.

Can you be too competitive? Astronaut’s Guide #4

“Astronauts are, without exception, extremely competitive. How do you take a group of hyper-competitive people and get them to hyper-cooperate, to the point where they seek opportunities to help others shine?”

This is one of the key questions in Chris Hadfield’s book (An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth), and one which comes up for many business leaders too.

He talks about instilling and reinforcing “expeditionary behaviour” (a phrase we love! and use on our positive leadership courses). Essentially, it is the ability to work in a team productively and cheerfully in tough conditions.

Here are some of his lessons from surviving in space and his survival training on land.  All ideas you can promote with your own teams without going to the North Pole.

  • Think of success as a team sport.
  • Good leadership means leading the way, not hectoring other people to do things your way.
  • Groupthink is a good thing when it comes to risks. If you are only thinking about yourself, you can’t see the whole picture.
  • The key question to ask is, “How can I help us get where we need to go?” (It’s about supporting the team, not looking out for yourself).
  • You don’t need to be a superhero. Empathy and a sense of humour are often more important. Take opportunities to lighten the mood.
  • When the going gets tough you can choose to wallow in misery or you can focus on what’s best for the group (hint: it’s never misery).
  • Discourage whining and moaning. It is the antithesis of expeditionary behaviour and doesn’t help get the job done.

Here’s Our Pithy Quote from the Book #4

“Only the crew’s own appreciation of the value of expeditionary behaviour made it possible for us to become a complaint-free group. Everyone promotes team spirit”.

Chris’ style of personal leadership and his leadership of others is an excellent example of the behaviours and positive practices we’re coaching on our Positive Leadership. Peak Performance Programmes. Hard evidence shows that using positive leadership practices to lead yourself and others delivers higher sales, more internal engagement and better productivity. If you would be interested in how it can help you meet your own goals, please do get in touch.

Buy Chris Hadfield’s book on Amazon here.

Chris Hadfield, An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth

How Astronauts Cheer Up

Commander Chris Hadfield is the master at taking the long view and seeing the opportunities in tough situations. (If you need a reminder of who Chris Hadfield is, watch his cover of David Bowie’s ‘Space Oddity’, recorded on board the International Space Station on YouTube).

When he was overlooked for going into space not just once but four times he says:

“This is when attitude really started to matter. I have a clear memory of giving myself a pep talk about then that started with, ‘Don’t be an idiot’. I reminded myself that I wasn’t sitting around doing nothing. I was learning so much every day that I could almost hear my neurons firing.”

He is a master of the ‘flip it’ technique.  He does feel disappointment and does get affected but somehow finds a genuine opportunity or upside quickly.  This allows him to perform better and enjoy the process.

His book is littered with examples of his mind-set in action.  He talks about how he responded when things went wrong on space walks.  And he had the same troubles as many people have with a boss – he worked with a difficult senior astronaut who would dress him down in front of mission control.

Here’s Our Pithy Quote from the Book #3

“I learned a lot from him ….I realised, wow, he’s really effective and a top operator of a complex vehicle.  He had some great skills and some fundamental problems… It helped me stop reacting emotionally to his abuse and start trying to figure out how to make the best of the situation.  The key was to understand that the problems were his, not mine and they all seemed to stem from his insecurity”.

‘Flip it’ is an essential foundation you can acquire on our Positive Leadership. Peak Performance course and apply to your own real life situations.

Chris’ style of personal leadership and his leadership of others is an excellent example of the behaviours and positive practices we’re coaching on our Positive Leadership. Peak Performance Programmes.  Hard evidence shows that using positive leadership practices to lead yourself and others delivers higher sales, more internal engagement and better productivity.  If you would be interested in how it can help you meet your goals, please do get in touch.

Buy Chris Hadfield’s book ‘An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth’ on Amazon.

An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth #2

Nasa image sourced from Gildir at English Wikipedia – Chris Hadfield making one of the first spacewalks by a Canadian during the STS-100 mission in 2001.

Astronauts training for critical scenarios in space are tested to the limit. They are taught to simulate impossibly tricky situations in the hope that something new will go wrong, while being closely watched by a crowd of experts. It’s a question of learning to survive in space.

Chris Hadfield, astronaut says:

“At NASA everyone’s a critic.” “In any field, it’s a plus if you view criticism as potentially helpful advice rather than personal attack. But for an astronaut, depersonalizing criticism is a basic survival skill.  If you bristled every time you heard something negative – or stubbornly tuned out the feedback – you’d be toast.” “Our biggest blunders are put under the microscope so that even more people can be made aware of them: Check out what Hadfield did – let’s be sure no one ever does that again.”

Next time someone says “Can I give you some feedback?” you could think in a similar way to Chris Hadfield.  You could also create a culture in your work team where feedback is genuinely seen as a gift – a route to personal development, performance improvement and a way of bonding your team.

Here’s Our Pithy Quote from the Book #2

“A mistake is like a loose thread you should tug on, hard, to see if the whole fabric unravels.”

Chris’ style of personal leadership and his leadership of others is an excellent example of the behaviours and positive practices we’re coaching on our Positive Leadership. Peak Performance Programmes.  Hard evidence shows that using positive leadership practices to lead yourself and others delivers higher sales, more internal engagement and better productivity.  If you would be interested in how it can help you meet your goals, please do get in touch.

You can buy Chris Hadfield’s book ‘An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth’ on Amazon.

 

Chris Hadfield An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth

An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth #1

This new book by astronaut Chris Hadfield is really worth a read for anyone who wants to achieve work success and really enjoy the journey.  He is the living embodiment of ‘Positive Leadership. Peak Performance’ in a setting where sweating the small stuff is the difference between life and death.

He’s a great example of how to balance a positive and realistic outlook with managing critical risks.  He also provides great insights on how to build a constant improvement culture and teamwork in a highly competitive environment and how to bounce back when things go wrong.

“A funny thing happened on the way to space: I learned how to live better and more happily here on Earth.  Over time, I learned how to anticipate problems in order to prevent them, and how to respond effectively in critical situations.  I learned how to neutralize fear, how to stay focused and how to succeed…..Astronauts have these qualities not because we’re smarter than everyone else.  It’s because we are taught to view the world – and ourselves – differently.  It’s mostly about changing perspective.”  Chris Hadfield.

Pithy Quote From The Book #1

“The secret to his success – and survival – is an unconventional philosophy he learned at NASA: prepare for the worst and enjoy every moment of it”

Hard evidence shows that using positive leadership practices to lead yourself and others delivers higher sales, more internal engagement and better productivity.  KineticFuture’s positive leadership course is a practical methodology our clients use to engage teams with change, build trust and transparency and encourage sales teams to ask for the business.  If you would be interested in how it can help you, please do get in touch.