- July 26, 2019
- Posted by: Stephen Johnson
- Category: Vistage
“We will do this not because it is easy, but because it is hard.”
President John F. Kennedy
“Tang”…and other things
If you grew up in the early days of America’s space age, you’ll remember that there was (and still is) a breakfast drink called “Tang” that became famous (and had more than a little success) due to the fact that the early astronauts imbibed it during those early orbital flights. Check out this 1966 Tang commercial.
The technological hurdles that had to be overcome to meet President Kennedy’s challenge to reach the moon by 1970 were daunting in terms of their scope and the required timetable but these efforts produced many new technologies and products. It may surprise you to know just what other technological benefits we’re all enjoying ( and they are many) because of the space race. Check out this INC magazine list of “ 27 Innovations We Use Constantly But That You (Probably) Didn’t Know Were From the NASA Space Program” (hit link, then scroll down).
Clearly, because of the space program we got “Tang”…and a lot of other things.
We can only wonder if the US Space program would have succeeded in meeting JFK’s goal of putting a man on the moon by 1970 (or at all) had it not been for the wake-up call of the old Soviet Union beating the US to space with the satellite Sputnik and Yuri Gagarin’s first ever manned flight. Human beings have a general tendency toward procrastination… until an emergency arises.
It’s been fifty years since we first walked on the moon. As noted above, the space race produced many ancillary benefits. What should our next “Moonshot” be? (And what crisis will be required to catalyze it? ). MIT Visionary Nicholas Negroponte was asked by CEO Magazine “What one technology would he pick for an all-out development effort by the United States?”
The answer may surprise you, but after reading this very short article, you may conclude that this “Moonshot 2.0” could be the key to solving a lot of other pressing problems.
Procrastination, Properly Understood
And speaking of procrastination……It’s the rare individual who has not experienced procrastination or been impacted by another’s failure to deal with it. If we understood this common phenomenon better, our own productivity would soar and we’d have a new tool for helping others take their own performance to a new level.
If you’d like a very insightful article on why you and those you lead put things off (and what to do about it), check out this offering (article and video) from TED that shares a simple “equation” that may change your life …..and that of a few others.
Well worth your time (So don’t procrastinate! Read it! Right Now! 😊)
Required Reading: Not every article I include in my newsletters will be valuable to everyone. However, this one will apply to everyone because it describes something that will happen to all of us: aging…and with that comes professional decline in some form for all of us.
Our quality of life will be a function of how well we prepare the inevitable. But the inevitable can be meaningful….if we’re ready. This article from the Atlantic (warning, it’s not short) is well worth the time to read because Your Professional Decline is Coming (Much) Sooner Than You Think: Here’s How to Make the Most of It.
Seeing Around Corners: ITR Economics President Alan Beaulieu offers some useful insights on what’s ahead and how you can start to “see around corners” in terms of your company and the economy.
Fragile or Agile😕 Economist Brian Wesbury looks at the history of the US, China, the UK and Japanese economies and what drove their success and failures. Being big has its advantages but it often sacrifices agility and the ability to pivot when the economic winds blow the wrong way. “The bigger they are…….” Check his latest Dr. Wesbury’s 101 video for his thoughts on size, agility, fragility pivoting and how free markets provide an edge.