Extreme leadership, an invite to be a better version of yourself

Last week, the Dublin Tech Summit invited one of the most prestigious Tech Leaders in the world to speak about the future of Technology.

From consulting businesses to blockchains specialists and digital banking, one guest was specially exciting, as he represents the dreams of many school boys, including myself at that age. Chris Hadfield was the first Canadian astronaut to walk in Space and stayed in the International Space Station (ISS) 166 days of his life. Yes, you read it right almost 6 months of his life in space!

Over the course of one hour, Chris made us dream about what seems impossible for most humans: going to the moon or another planet and living there. Chris came to Dublin with a precise idea in mind, talking to us about “Extreme Leadership”. But above everything, he demonstrated to us that everything is possible, even for a boy raised on a farm in Southern Ontario. How?

Chris Hadfield at DTS 2019

Chris knew from very young age what he wanted and applied to himself what he described as “Extreme Leadership”. This strongly impacted the way he envisioned himself and the world around him.

“Decide in your heart of hearts what really excites and challenges you, and start moving your life in that direction. Every decision you make, from what you eat to what you do with your time tonight, turns you into who you are tomorrow, and the day after that. Look at who you want to be, and start sculpting yourself into that person. You may not get exactly where you thought you’d be, but you will be doing things that suit you in a profession you believe in. Don’t let life randomly kick you into the adult you don’t want to become.” 
― 
Chris Hadfield

I would like to present my interpretation of his vision in 6 ways that leaders can easily apply to their businesses and cause impact onto them as well.

1* BELIEVE impossible things happen, every single day.

I know this sound like an overstatement, but this can be easily proven. Most of us have in our pockets, a smartphone that didn’t exist 10 years ago and we bring it everywhere with us, to take pictures, write to our friends, connect with our followers on social medias, etc. Impossible you said?

Just go back in time and think about it… Look at memories, photos, objects of your childhood. How many impossible things have happened in your life? You will be surprised how far you have gone with the time.

2* PLAN for success, don’t wait for success to come to you.

Success comes from the repetition of small things every day until you master them. Look at what you know and what you are going to do next. Know what it really matters to you. If the step is too big, divide it in smaller steps that are achievable.

Think SMART for each goal and break down your activities in a Specific Measurable Achievable Realistic and Time-oriented way.

3* THINK BIG, think strategically and think as a team

Vision, team empowerment and problem solving are key to success. Use creativity and technology like Chris in the ISS to achieve things in an ingenious way. No need to reinvent the wheel.

Go back to the V2MOM discussed in a previous post. People of all ages like to understand why they do things. They will teach you things too. You could be even surprised and learn to do something you know faster and better.

4* Share knowledge around you

Knowledge is a treasure free to share with people you meet every day. Start with a smile and engage conversation. Be keen on people and remember the chance you have to be able to learn every day. Teach something to somebody every day and listen from people what they think of it. You know what? I bet you will love it!

5* Improve yourself

Never settle, always try to be a better version of yourself. Join an association, register for a conference, read books, learn a language. A word a day is nice, simple and can stimulate your brain for more. What about ordering your coffee next summer in a French brasserie like a local with a nice “‘s’il vous plaît”?

6* Play an instrument (or communicate with music)

Music is a universal language. Families, companies and teams are often composed of people with a lot of different sensibilities. Be the one uniting them. Don’t wait for it to happen by itself…

You can bring people closer by sharing a moment around a nice song. Why not doing it? Everybody will enjoy and you will have a good chance of offering them a good moment. Check Chris’ video below, that was how he built team spirit at the ISS with colleagues from all over the world!

Chris Hadfield original recording of Space Oddity onboard on the ISS

So, after all, what is “Extreme Leadership”? Is it something new? Something difficult? Something impossible? Not really. More than anything it is a good reminder that everything is possible if we dearly want it.

More than ever 2019 is the time not only to dream your life but also to live your dreams.

So what is your plan? Which items do you prefer most? Do you need help? Let me know, I’ll be happy to help, as always!

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