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Crazy Might Work | Issue #11 | February 2023

“You can grow through adversity, but not avoidance.”

Christopher Trow, in Fight Psychology

Welcome to this year’s first issue of CRAZYWORKS and belated wishes for a stellar 2023!

If you missed out on our public NASA 4-Dimensional Leadership program in 2022, it’s not too late to join our February intake – we are only one session in, and all are recorded, so you can still catch up. And, if you are curious about how leadership development happens in space, or what NASA 4-D covers, this week’s article on Reality-Based Optimism will give you a vicarious peek into this world-class program.


Paul and the Crazy Might Work team

Reality-Based Optimism

One of the core behaviours of the NASA 4-Dimensional Leadership program is Reality-Based Optimism, which is defined as, ‘the courage to acknowledge uncomfortable truths and then choose the path that leads to the best possible version of the future.’

The first part of this entails finding the courage to face down current reality, even if it is daunting or disappointing. Acknowledging the ‘elephant in the room’ is a crucial starting point for real progress, because, without it, optimism becomes a Pollyannaish quality that ignores social or physical danger – turning up the music to drown out the smoke alarm.

Only once current reality has been embraced (and we have owned our own contribution to it, where appropriate) can we start moving from where we are towards a more optimistic version of the future. This application of optimism hinges on another NASA 4-D concept, which is red and green storylines. ‘Storylines’ are the stories we tell ourselves about reality, very little of which is objectively verifiable. If the future is essentially unknowable and subjective, then its best purpose is to motivate and energise ourselves, and others, to take actions that make a particular desired outcome more likely. In the absence of certainty, the most rational course of action is to acknowledge and ‘insure’ against potential risks, whilst actively pursuing the storyline that is most likely to lead to a great result.

When asked why he was so perennially upbeat, here is how the Dalai Lama responded … Read full Article

For those that missed our podcast interview with Charlie Pellerin (former Director of Astrophysics at NASA and author of How NASA Builds Teams) you can hear him introducing the concept of storylines here: Storylines

And if you enjoyed this conversation, let us know, subscribe and share.  It’s the best way to shape this learning community.  Or enrol on our NASA 4-D public program for the full effect.

NASA 4-D Leadership & High-Performing Teams Online Program

Based on the updated and revised 4-D program used by NASA, it is critically different in that it equips teams with the social leadership skills required to create psychological safety and set the scene for high performance.

The public program consists of 8 weekly sessions, running from 12:00pm to 1:30pm (AEST) on consecutive Thursdays.

Join one of our online public programs or contact us to run the program in-house at [email protected]

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