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How NASA Builds Teams: Mission Critical Soft Skills for Scientists, Engineers, and Project Teams by Charles J. Pellerin

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CHAPTER 3
The 4-D System A SIMPLE TOOL TO ANALYZE TEAM AND INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCE
 
 
 
I began my time at the University of Colorado ravenously reading the business book genre. Most contained anecdotes about well-known industry personalities such as Jack Welch, Bill Gates, and Andy Grove. Then, there are lists of the four things, six things, seven things, and so on that great leaders do to succeed. I even have a card deck of the 67 things great leaders do.
Although these books are entertaining to read, my technical mind wants fundamental principles, as physics has. Logical constructs are simple and easy for me to apply. A reporter asked Einstein if he knew what the speed of sound was. He answered, “No, why would I clutter my mind with something I can find in a book?” I agree. I prefer thinking to memorization. Further, the various lists built on peoples’ taste are difficult to apply because they are inconsistent. Which list is the right one?
Moreover, people demand leadership during chaos and confusion. When I was in chaotic situations and was asked to lead, I could never remember the six (or whatever) things great leaders did and then do them.
Think back to Harry’s Diner. How did the consultants choose the six questions they used? I have no idea, and this is not okay. We need a systematic process to understand the underpinnings of high-performance teams and effective leaders.

Coordinate Systems Simplify

In my office at CU, I pondered how I might use my physics background to ...

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