Aim to be a zero - Chris Hadfield

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Re: Aim to be a zero - Chris Hadfield

#51 Post by Rockie » Thu Jun 14, 2018 11:31 am

+1 has nothing to do with seeking or achieving leadership. Nothing to do with recognition. It is, do you go out of your way to make things better for the sake of making things better? It doesn’t have to be all the time and it doesn’t have to be spectacular. It just has to be more than expected.
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Re: Aim to be a zero - Chris Hadfield

#52 Post by complexintentions » Thu Jun 14, 2018 12:06 pm

wrote:A friend of mine was once in a crowded elevator in Building Four South at JSC in Houston when a senior astronaut got on and just stood there, visibly impatient, waiting for someone to divine that he needed to go to the sixth floor, and push the button. "I didn't spend all those years in university to wind up pushing buttons in an elevator," he snapped. Incredibly enough, someone did it for him. This incident made such a big impression on my friend that I heard about it, and probably a lot of other people did, too. For me, it was a cautionary tale about the pitfalls of ever thinking of yourself as An Astronaut (or A Doctor, or A Whatever). To everyone else, you're just an arrogant guy on the elevator, craving significance.

Over the years, I've realized that in any new situation, whether it involves an elev tor, or a rocket ship, you will almost certainly be viewed in one of three ways. As a minus one: actively harmful, someone who creates problems, Or as a zero: your impact is neutral and doesn't tip the balance one way or the other, Or you'll be seen as a plus one: someone who actively adds value. Everyone wants to be a plus one, of course. But proclaiming your plus-one-ness at the outset almost guarantees you'll be perceived as a minus one, regardless of the skills you bring to the table or how you actually perform."
I've never read the book. I've never met Chris Hadfield. I'm vaguely aware he was an astronaut, had a killer moustache, and is what passes for celebrity in Canada.

But setting aside the simplistic reduction of people to ones and zeros, the real flaw in his philosophy is that it assumes everyone gives a shit about how others perceive them. (Hint: I do not). But I'm old-school, I still believe that reality is more important than perception, and no, perception is not reality. Hardly ever, in fact.

I mean Gsus, no other animal ponders it's own existence in such inanities as we humans! :mrgreen:

But if we're assigning scores, for all of our differences I have to say Rockie adds about a zillion more points of worthwhile contributions to any given discussion than our dear friend pelmet.
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Re: Aim to be a zero - Chris Hadfield

#53 Post by Old fella » Thu Jun 14, 2018 12:34 pm

I am getting old and cranky and probably to stupid to make meaningful commentary on yer binary code(0’s and 1’s) musings. I do get a real charge when Rockie squares off with Pelmet tis better than a yuk-yuk concert at times. Secretly I believe both of these esteem gents are Air Canada Captains, both are best of friends and have been for a while and I bet their respective spouses hang out with other. They both hate wine and detest flying to the Maritimes, both will be flying at AC beyond 65 because by the time their retirement is due flying beyond 65 will be permitted. Also both are adamant weed should not be legal because they never smoked it. I certainly did and I can tell’em both why not have a go. Stay loose!

:weedman:
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Re: Aim to be a zero - Chris Hadfield

#54 Post by Rockie » Thu Jun 14, 2018 1:01 pm

Shack on one of those points Old Fella...maybe two. WAY off on the others.

😉
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Re: Aim to be a zero - Chris Hadfield

#55 Post by pelmet » Thu Jun 14, 2018 5:02 pm

Old fella wrote:
Thu Jun 14, 2018 12:34 pm
I am getting old and cranky and probably to stupid to make meaningful commentary on yer binary code(0’s and 1’s) musings. I do get a real charge when Rockie squares off with Pelmet tis better than a yuk-yuk concert at times. Secretly I believe both of these esteem gents are Air Canada Captains, both are best of friends and have been for a while and I bet their respective spouses hang out with other. They both hate wine and detest flying to the Maritimes, both will be flying at AC beyond 65 because by the time their retirement is due flying beyond 65 will be permitted. Also both are adamant weed should not be legal because they never smoked it.
Rockie and I are planning to have a road show after we retire. We will be debating endless issues from how great Donald Trump is to aircraft incident analysis to discount dining. As well, we will each have our own crew of hand-picked AvCanada contributors paying to tag along to give us advice(you can start sending contributions now to my handle's email). Millions will be made by each of us and I expect to overtake my hero, Jordan Peterson, in Youtube popularity. Because of my sense of fairness, I plan to split the profits 50/50 with Rockie because I don't want to unfairly take most if not all based on who wins the debates.

Groupies may end up ditching the major Rock bands to be seen with us and thats OK but please don't mention anymore on this forum any relationship I may have with his spouse. I plan to retire early but will continue to do plenty of other flying and hobbies and am just getting started. Good fortune has followed me so far but it will all come to an end some day. Life is too short and there is still a lot of very cool things to do. Complex will be the one flying past 65 in a faraway land with never enough days off giving up his home country to chase that elusive grand payout. It can be fun for a while, believe me. Big jets, easy flying, lower taxes and if you have good fortune, great layovers. But endless time zone changes and midnight departures will eventually wear on one and it is time to move on after trying out a variety of aircraft types.

So my advice is....do what you can while you can. Life is short.
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Re: Aim to be a zero - Chris Hadfield

#56 Post by dpm » Mon Jun 18, 2018 1:46 pm

I think the point is that if you aim to be a zero, you have a good chance of ending up as a +1. If you aim to be a +1, you'll probably end up as a -1, because of all the people you end up elbowing and climbing over trying to get there.

In coding, we have a similar motto: always underpromise and overdeliver.
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Re: Aim to be a zero - Chris Hadfield

#57 Post by pelmet » Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:26 pm

Hmmm......maybe after early retirement, I will become an astronoaut. Take the Masterclass....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36xRVZDoJy0
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Re: Aim to be a zero - Chris Hadfield

#58 Post by Beefitarian » Wed Jun 20, 2018 9:26 am

I suppose I'm a negative one because I like to do and write silly things. Then again sometimes I am a huge plus, just check out my weight and balance sheets!

Rockie certainly demonstrated the over all theory well.

It doesn't matter if you can fly better, if no one wants to let you work with them, you'll lose your ride.
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Re: Aim to be a zero - Chris Hadfield

#59 Post by Rockie » Wed Jun 20, 2018 10:10 am

I'm wondering why some people have difficulty understanding the difference between actually trying to add value and merely proclaiming that you do.
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Re: Aim to be a zero - Chris Hadfield

#60 Post by Beefitarian » Wed Jun 20, 2018 10:21 am

Yes sir. Sixty floor? Allow me to push the button.
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Re: Aim to be a zero - Chris Hadfield

#61 Post by Rockie » Wed Jun 20, 2018 10:39 am

Am I proclaiming +1ness somewhere Beef? Please point out where. Be specific.

If you can point out a single case where I’ve done that in the 7500 odd posts I’ve wasted time on over the years I assure you that wasn’t my intent. Despite that however, show me and I’ll delete my profile forever. Kind of hoping you can actually...

Offer open to anybody.
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Re: Aim to be a zero - Chris Hadfield

#62 Post by Beefitarian » Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:31 am

I don't want you deleted.

I would suggest anyone getting out of bed to feed themself and change or put on clothes is at +1.

I agree with what I read into what you wrote. Seems like you suggest commander retired Hadfield has abviously gone far beyond +1 in action more often than he has been neutral.

The portion of his book posted, as I read into it, suggests we act neutrally. Specifically, avoid proclaiming ourself to be +1, do your duty and allow actions to speak for you.

It's not a matter of avoiding added value. It's a matter of doing whatever is best for the team. Need to lead, lead. Need to follow, follow. Need to assist, assist. Need to get out of the way, get out of the way.

It might work, I'm too fragile, so sometimes I get defensive. Also I have worked for jerks that will blame their inability to lead on us underlings. On occasion I have just let them have their way. Life went on and I did things in other situation they probably couldn't at the time we worked together. I hope they did well at whatever future endeavors they experienced.

I don't need to fear annoying anyone here, so I'll proclaim myself as a good leader. The office was happy with all the jobs I ran.
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Re: Aim to be a zero - Chris Hadfield

#63 Post by Bede » Wed Jun 20, 2018 1:44 pm

I've been reading this thread with some interest. I had the opportunity to go through this last selection campaign. I was short listed so I got to go to the first assessment center. (The first assessment center is still quite a decent way through the process.) I didn't make the cut to the finals though.

This is pretty tough topic to wrap your head around if you haven't seen the process first hand, but once you've been through it "being a zero" is the best analogy I can think of. You're tested on your physical fitness, judgment, reasoning, and behaviour. They watch you like a hawk and a psychologist notes any eye roll, shrug, body language, etc. A couple experiences stand out:
1) Naturally, I was sizing myself up against the other 24 candidates. There were roughly 5 that I knew weren't going to make the cut. Then there were 5 that I was sure would move on. They were rock stars. They nailed everything. When the cuts were announced, something surprising happened. The 5 that I thought's weren't going to make it got cut. Those are your -1's. However of the 5 that I was most confident in, your +1's, 4/5 were cut. The guys that made it through were those guys that you thought, "oh yeah, I remember that guy. Barely. I don't remember him doing anything noticeable." There was a story about Jeremy Hanson (ASC 2009). He didn't say a thing throughout the ASC and pretty much no one remembered him. I'm pretty sure Hatfield coached him. That's the story anyways.
2) I felt pretty confident about my abilities. I'm quite physically fit. Amongst the scientists/engineer/doctor set, I'm comfortable with tools. I'm certainly no plumber/electrician, but I can wire/plumb a house. I also rock climb. Some of the tasks involved using tools while hanging from a harness. I had no problem with it. I helped everyone else out and was an asset to my team. I was thanked for getting the team through some of the technical aspects and physical fitness aspects. I got cut while another team member, who I helped a lot, made it through. The reason was that she knew every instruction down to a T and while I was solving the problems and doing (literally) the heavy lifting. But I had to consistently ask, what are the rules at this station? where do we go now? etc. I was the muscle monkey. She could follow instructions. It's easier for them to train her to use tools and increase her fitness than it is to train me to stop being the guy constantly taking charge, even if I know what I'm doing. Afterwords I read Hadfield's "be a zero" quote. Then it all made sense.

When you're in space, no one needs you to solve the problem- the engineers on the ground do that. They want you to be competent, but follow instructions to a T. I'm not that guy at all. I'm a mouth piece. I'm a know-it-all. I'm a pain to work with sometimes. So when Hadfield says "be a zero", that's exactly what he means.

Andrew Radar (he was also the mission commander for the Falcon 9 rocket that safely landed) wrote an article about the process on Vice. Rumour has it that they weren't too happy about it because it broke the NDA because it was too detailed. Generalities are OK, specifics not.
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Re: Aim to be a zero - Chris Hadfield

#64 Post by dpm » Wed Jun 20, 2018 2:37 pm

Rockie wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 10:10 am
I'm wondering why some people have difficulty understanding the difference between actually trying to add value and merely proclaiming that you do.
In the aid world, where I work, the well-intentioned (but naive) people jumping in trying to add value are one of the problems. The quiet people, just trying to be average and do their jobs quietly, are the ones who do the real work.
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Re: Aim to be a zero - Chris Hadfield

#65 Post by Rockie » Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:50 am

Adding value doesn’t necessarily mean actively doing something. Consider this.

You’re walking along and find a woman screaming over a prone man. You hand the woman your cell phone and have her call 911. You give CPR to the man until EMT’s show up whereupon you stand back out of the way. You hang off to the side until the scene is over then you leave. You’ve added value in the following way:

1. You provided CPR.
2. You gave the other person the tools be of added value themselves.
3. You got out of the way when the experts arrived giving them room to work.
4. You made yourself available in case someone had questions (police/EMT’s).
5. You left when it was all over neither expecting or receiving a parade in your honour, and nobody even found out your name.

Lots of value added with you actively only doing one thing yourself when it was needed.
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Re: Aim to be a zero - Chris Hadfield

#66 Post by Outlaw58 » Thu Jun 21, 2018 9:23 am

Dude... dead horse... Let it go!

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Re: Aim to be a zero - Chris Hadfield

#67 Post by digits_ » Thu Jun 21, 2018 9:42 am

Bede wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 1:44 pm
I've been reading this thread with some interest. I had the opportunity to go through this last selection campaign. I was short listed so I got to go to the first assessment center. (The first assessment center is still quite a decent way through the process.) I didn't make the cut to the finals though.

This is pretty tough topic to wrap your head around if you haven't seen the process first hand, but once you've been through it "being a zero" is the best analogy I can think of. You're tested on your physical fitness, judgment, reasoning, and behaviour. They watch you like a hawk and a psychologist notes any eye roll, shrug, body language, etc. A couple experiences stand out:
1) Naturally, I was sizing myself up against the other 24 candidates. There were roughly 5 that I knew weren't going to make the cut. Then there were 5 that I was sure would move on. They were rock stars. They nailed everything. When the cuts were announced, something surprising happened. The 5 that I thought's weren't going to make it got cut. Those are your -1's. However of the 5 that I was most confident in, your +1's, 4/5 were cut. The guys that made it through were those guys that you thought, "oh yeah, I remember that guy. Barely. I don't remember him doing anything noticeable." There was a story about Jeremy Hanson (ASC 2009). He didn't say a thing throughout the ASC and pretty much no one remembered him. I'm pretty sure Hatfield coached him. That's the story anyways.
2) I felt pretty confident about my abilities. I'm quite physically fit. Amongst the scientists/engineer/doctor set, I'm comfortable with tools. I'm certainly no plumber/electrician, but I can wire/plumb a house. I also rock climb. Some of the tasks involved using tools while hanging from a harness. I had no problem with it. I helped everyone else out and was an asset to my team. I was thanked for getting the team through some of the technical aspects and physical fitness aspects. I got cut while another team member, who I helped a lot, made it through. The reason was that she knew every instruction down to a T and while I was solving the problems and doing (literally) the heavy lifting. But I had to consistently ask, what are the rules at this station? where do we go now? etc. I was the muscle monkey. She could follow instructions. It's easier for them to train her to use tools and increase her fitness than it is to train me to stop being the guy constantly taking charge, even if I know what I'm doing. Afterwords I read Hadfield's "be a zero" quote. Then it all made sense.

When you're in space, no one needs you to solve the problem- the engineers on the ground do that. They want you to be competent, but follow instructions to a T. I'm not that guy at all. I'm a mouth piece. I'm a know-it-all. I'm a pain to work with sometimes. So when Hadfield says "be a zero", that's exactly what he means.

Andrew Radar (he was also the mission commander for the Falcon 9 rocket that safely landed) wrote an article about the process on Vice. Rumour has it that they weren't too happy about it because it broke the NDA because it was too detailed. Generalities are OK, specifics not.
Impressive!

Thanks for sharing!
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Re: Aim to be a zero - Chris Hadfield

#68 Post by '97 Tercel » Thu Jun 21, 2018 10:07 am

^ ya man, +1....interesting for sure, thanks for posting.
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Re: Aim to be a zero - Chris Hadfield

#69 Post by Beefitarian » Fri Jun 22, 2018 10:08 pm

I did not mean to bully you Rockie. I was just pointing out. Sometimes once you get noticed. You can't get away from it. Even if you were not trying to get noticed.
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Re: Aim to be a zero - Chris Hadfield

#70 Post by Rockie » Sat Jun 23, 2018 7:01 am

Beefitarian wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 10:08 pm
I did not mean to bully you Rockie.
No worries...you didn't.
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Re: Aim to be a zero - Chris Hadfield

#71 Post by Eric Janson » Sun Jun 24, 2018 12:22 am

Aim To Be A Zero

A friend of mine was once in a crowded elevator in Building Four South at JSC in Houston when a senior astronaut got on and just stood there, visibly impatient, waiting for someone to divine that he needed to go to the sixth floor, and push the button. "I didn't spend all those years in university to wind up pushing buttons in an elevator," he snapped. Incredibly enough, someone did it for him. This incident made such a big impression on my friend that I heard about it, and probably a lot of other people did, too. For me, it was a cautionary tale about the pitfalls of ever thinking of yourself as An Astronaut (or A Doctor, or A Whatever). To everyone else, you're just an arrogant guy on the elevator, craving significance.

Over the years, I've realized that in any new situation, whether it involves an elev tor, or a rocket ship, you will almost certainly be viewed in one of three ways. As a minus one: actively harmful, someone who creates problems, Or as a zero: your impact is neutral and doesn't tip the balance one way or the other, Or you'll be seen as a plus one: someone who actively adds value. Everyone wants to be a plus one, of course. But proclaiming your plus-one-ness at the outset almost guarantees you'll be perceived as a minus one, regardless of the skills you bring to the table or how you actually perform."
The real problem here is that nobody tells the senior astronaut to get his head out of his ass and to stop being such a ****.

Much more effective than thinking "-1" imho. How does that solve anything?

Things are rarely so black and white that you can categorize people in only 3 ways.

It all fits nicely into the World of Post Modernism and all the rest of the Politically Correct BS that is being continually rammed down my throat.
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Re: Aim to be a zero - Chris Hadfield

#72 Post by AirDoan » Mon Jun 25, 2018 12:18 pm

I just read this thread and have read the book, though not with as much focus as I will when I get my copy from BC in July. But my interpretation could be boiled down to a quote from Marcus Aurelius.

"Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one."

Basically its a work ethic/attitude when in any environment. Do your job, and do it well. When you can make improvements and help beyond your bubble, do. But don't sit there looking for the opportunities to interject or show off. If you have to go out of your way to show that your better than everyone around you, you will be perceived as trying too hard or cocky and not looked upon favorably (the +1 being perceived as a - 1). The guy beside you who's there 15 minutes early, leaves last, paperwork is always in order, doesn't cause accidents or problems, first one with a broom when a glass breaks, and helps the overloaded new new hire is the real +1 by naturally being the best 0. The "let me/can I show you how to fix that" not the "just give it to me!" The one who asks the little old lady which floor she's on instead of expecting someone to press the button for him/her.

Again not meant to inflame, I wanted to share this interpretation and I choose to look at it this way.
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Re: Aim to be a zero - Chris Hadfield

#73 Post by B208 » Mon Jun 25, 2018 6:36 pm

Rare to find people who have read Marcus Aurelius.
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Re: Aim to be a zero - Chris Hadfield

#74 Post by AirDoan » Mon Jun 25, 2018 7:36 pm

I have a bit, but you can thank Dr. Who for the inspiration!
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