5 Astronaut Attributes To Propel Your Business To New Heights In 2014

 

Mathematically speaking you have a better chance of growing up and winning an olympic medal, and then getting away with murder than you have of becoming an astronaut – and that’s just to be accepted into a space program, not to actually explore the most hostile environment known to man, in what is essentially a tin can that has to return home safely in one piece.

The insurmountable odds astronauts constantly encounter during their career and their ability to somehow overcome them is truly remarkable, this is in part a testament to their unique character.

The exemplary character traits and attitude of the humble astronaut and the usefulness of adopting and applying these attributes to our daily business dealings, is something that has perhaps been underexplored by modern self-development literature.

After all, If we are able to acquire relevant business knowledge from championship winning sports coaches and ancient Japanese warlords, then surely we’re able to learn something useful from an individual that is mentally, intellectually and physically at the top of the tree in a super competitive field such as space exploration.

An individual who when strapped to a 4.4 million lb bomb being propelled at 7,500 mph from the launch pad, with the responsibility of billions of pounds worth of equipment and years of peoples’ dedicated time on their shoulders, still manages to keep their heartbeat in the 70-90 beats per minute range – the same beat range us mere mortals experience during a brisk walk to the local shop for a pint of milk.

 

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Sweat the small stuff

Space is a lonely, unforgiving, hostile vacuum where minor errors and careless mistakes can have catastrophic consequences. Attention to detail at every stage from preparation to execution is crucial, as millions of tax-payers’ dollars and, most importantly, human lives are at risk in this high stakes game.

A tragic mishap 80 miles up is not only devastating for everyone involved, but it tends to be further compounded by plummeting public confidence and the ensuing funding cuts and stunted development of the space program.

Of course, the modern business environment is by no means one of life and death, but there are lessons we can draw from the above example. Careless errors and mistakes from lack of preparation and attention to detail can cost your business, time, vital deals and the confidence and trust of both current and potential clients.

So sweat the small stuff, and remember no detail is too small to be overlooked, as it may come back in the future to knock you off course.

Work the problem

When something goes terribly wrong in space, every second really does count.

Astronauts cannot afford to dedicate precious time to wondering what caused the problem, as those few vital seconds may be the difference between life and death.

For an astronaut in this precarious situation, what has happened is in the past and not important to survival, there will be plenty of time to analyse and reflect on what went wrong later – if they manage to successfully work the problem that is.

This outlook can be applied to any of our daily business problems. Our attention and energy should be completely focused on the present moment, working the problem to give us the best chance of finding a positive solution. A review of the causes should then be carried out at a later time – a mission debrief – to keep the chance of recurrence to a minimum and to educate others on potential pitfalls.

space walk

Perpetual Learning 

The majority of an astronaut’s career is actually spent grounded on earth, not orbiting it.

Those who make the grade to become an astronaut, by the qualification criteria, are individuals who love to learn. If they didn’t and they only gained satisfaction from the end destination, not the journey, then they wouldn’t make the cut because a hunger for knowledge and a desire to learn are essential to both the recruitment and survival of an astronaut.

Learning is prevalent throughout the space program, whether it’s understanding the trials and tribulations of a mission during debriefing, or running the simulator for hours on end to improve manoeuvres.

This culture of learning is one that can be very beneficial to your organisation, if you facilitate and promote knowledge transfer throughout all levels.

Whilst it may be resource intensive, perpetual learning can really propel your business forward.

Support to survive and thrive

Humans are competitive, and it can be argued that a certain level of competition is healthy to drive a business forward, as long as it doesn’t verge on being destructive.

By nature, astronauts are extremely competitive – they have to be in order to climb to the top of an extremely exclusive list and stand out for mission selection.

Even though they are ultra competitive, astronauts understand and recognise that it’s in their best interests to be supportive and to help each other develop.

After all, in a world populated by 6.6 billion humans, the only people that can help them get out of trouble in space are their crew.

So, if it means staying behind for hours in the simulator every day, for months on end, running repetitive manoeuvres to help a crew member get up to speed and firing on all cylinders, then that is what it takes.

Those extra few hours spent on the ground, helping each other out, could be the difference between life and death.

This supportive, nurturing culture is one that anyone working in a team can benefit from. As an individual, you should want people in your team to be the best they can be. Just remember, you all have the same common goal, whether that’s increasing sales or exploring the solar system.

astronauts apollo 11

Dream BIG

Astronauts are generally perceived as being cool, calm and collected individuals, who are also very level headed and logical.

So it may come as a surprise to learn, that astronauts are also massive dreamers.

The odds are well and truly stacked against them and their big dream from childhood, but they still pursue it with unfaltering conviction even in the face of discouragement from peers, family and society.

Dreaming big and aiming high in life, is something that we should all aspire to do – yet lots of people have a fear of failing and being judged and so end up being content with mediocrity.

Whether it’s your personal life or business venture, you should always shoot for the stars. So what if the odds are slim, if it’s something you truly want then go after it.

Tree Silhouette Against Starry Night Sky

 

“Reach For The Stars”  S Club 7 

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