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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 16
Creating the Future You Want

Visioning What You Want

FIGURE 16.1 Reality and Commitment, the Fifth and Sixth of the Eight Behaviors
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Optimistic, reality-grounded visions can create the impossible (Figure 16.1). I believe you can easily name the source of these visions:
• Building a heavier-than-air flying machine from bicycle technology;
• “Make my little Newport store the best, most profitable variety store in Arkansas within five years;”
• “I have a dream that one day little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers;”
• “Put a man on the moon and return him to Earth within the decade;”
• “To democratize the automobile;” and
• “A New Physics in Our Lifetime.” This is the vision I used to market the $8 billion Great Observatories program that I describe in detail later in this chapter. One of my colleagues recently said to me, “I don’t see any new physics.” I said, “Be patient, I am still alive.”

Reality-Based Optimism (Hope)

The following is from Jerome Groopman, an oncologist (2003):
Hope, unlike optimism, is rooted in unalloyed reality. Hope is the elevating feeling that we experience—when we see in the mind’s eye—a path to a better future. Hope acknowledges the significant obstacles and deep pitfalls along the path. True hope has no room for delusion. Clear-eyed, hope gives us the courage ...

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