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Leadership Space: Give Them Some

Leadership Space: Give Them Some

Leadership Space: Give Them Some Space

Leadership Space is interesting! On one hand you’ve got Elon Musk, Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos forging exciting new ways in space as outlined in The Washington Post, Here’s what’s to come from NASA” and then on the other, young children just starting out and excited about future possibilities. So, how will we lead, be a proper role model to young children that will create a foundation for future success? The power is in your hands!

“I know the sky is not the limit because there are footprints on the Moon — and I made some of them!” Buzz Aldrin Retired US Astronaut


Sarah Pearson a scientist, read the book “Give me some Space” as part of the annual simultaneous national book reading, representing @AusSpaceAgency to year 5 girls at Brisbane’s All Hallows school – wonderful, talented, enquiring young women with a strong interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) – great futures for them and hope for us! This initiative is being driven by the Australian Space Agency and the Office of the Chief Scientist who came together to organise a special reading from the International Space Station. On a broader scale, there were 1.98 million registered participants, from over 33,418 locations who author Philip Bunting read to. This initiative shows a range of great careers to younger people that will give them a wonderful rewarding impactful career. And, why not start ‘em young: future leaders for our success!


In Science and Technology, it is shown that “STEM Leaders are forging the path to stronger Australian Science and Technology.” Presidents, CEOs and other leaders of Australia’s most prominent STEM organisations gathered in Canberra to highlight the important role that science and technology will play in Australia’s future.

This is their statement:

“Collectively representing more than 70,000 Australian scientists and technologists through our membership and staff, we call for science to be a priority platform for the major parties’ campaigns in the next federal election. Science and technology will shape our future, but without adequate support and high profile, Australian science, innovation and discovery will fall by the wayside. There are four areas of focus we call on decision-makers and candidates to address when Australians are called to vote at the next election:

  • A whole-of-government plan for science and technology
  • A strategy to equip the future Australian workforce with STEM skills
  • Strong investment in both basic and applied research
  • Creating policy informed by the best available evidence

We, the nation’s science and technology leaders, will work hard to ensure that the health, wealth and wellbeing of all Australians are secured for many generations to come. Working in the solutions sector, the thousands of STEM professionals in Australia will work to tackle the great challenges facing the world, and solve them with science. In striving towards this bold vision, we ask for the support of Australians, Australian governments and candidates in future federal elections.”


Lauren J. Bryant refers to “What kind of leadership will take us to Mars?” When it comes to challenging and different environments, the winner-take-all has got to be outer leadership space, which is exactly where Marissa Shuffler is focusing her on in her current research, along with colleagues from the University of Central Florida (UCF). With a grant from NASA, Shuffler and her colleagues are exploring leadership in the context of long-duration space missions, specifically NASA’s journey to Mars, planned to launch sometime in the 2030s.

Since her work with the U.S. Army Research Institute, Shuffler has developed expertise in the area of “high-risk” leadership—leaders who must function in stressful, demanding environments where errors in judgment can cost lives. Space travel to Mars certainly qualifies. When the human Mars mission launches, four astronauts will be confined together in a leadership space module roughly the size of a large American bedroom for at least eight months. And their isolation will be extreme. The farther they travel from Earth, Shuffler explains, the more tenuous communication with ground control will become.

“On long-duration missions, you go from immediate contact between crew and ground control to looking at a twenty-minute delay each way,” she says. “So there is a forty-minute delay between hellos.”

What happens if a time-sensitive issue must be resolved? What if the situation is something neither the astronauts nor ground control has ever experienced or anticipated? Shuffler is taking a three-pronged approach to helping NASA answer these kinds of questions before the Mars mission leaves the ground. First, she and her research team members are looking backward. Taking what she calls a “historiometric approach,” Shuffler, her students, and colleagues are analyzing historical examples, such as Arctic explorations, in which teams of people were isolated in harsh environments, cut off from communication.

As they explore the historical literature for common themes, ideas, and lessons, “we’re thinking about adaptation and other leadership behaviors,” Shuffler says. “How did the team anticipate or make sense of their situation? How did they decide to take a particular action, to adapt in new and different ways?” The team is also studying the more recent phenomenon of round-the-world sailboat racing. The focus here is on how groups of people manage together in very confined leadership spaces.

YODA Leadership

Benjamin Laker in Forbes refers to “What leadership will be in 2030.” The business landscape is undoubtedly changing. While some aspects of leadership, such as setting a vision and executing on strategy, will remain, the future leader will need to possess a new arsenal of skills and mindsets to lead effectively.

This is because our businesses will look and operate fundamentally differently in ten years, which means we need a new type of leader at the helm of these organizations.

The future leader will need to possess a new arsenal of skills and mindsets to lead effectively. When bestselling author and keynote speaker Jacob Morgan interviewed more than 140 top CEOs from around the world at companies like Audi, Mastercard, Unilever, Oracle, SAP, Best Buy, Verizon, and many others. From those interviews, Jacob put together what he calls, The Notable Nine, which is the top 4 mindsets and top 5 skills that future leaders must master as follows:


  • Global Citizen
  • Servant
  • Chef
  • Explorer


  • Coach
  • Futurist
  • Technology Teenager
  • Translator
  • Yoda

For decades, leaders have shied away from being emotional. But in the future, leaders need to be emotionally intelligent like Yoda and develop their empathy and self-awareness. Great communicators build connections and aren’t afraid to be vulnerable. Empathy understands the feelings and perspectives of others. Self-awareness is about understanding your strengths and weaknesses and helping others understand yours as well.


In my blog, I refer to Become a Leader for the Future of Work.” At this point in time, we are facing huge issues globally – a fragile economy, pandemic and business recovery and the need to reinvent work, to name a few. Brilliant, courageous leadership is required now to reimagine the nature of our work, understand the way we engage with people and to build exciting new companies. You have the opportunity now to become a leader for the future of work by putting development ahead of any other priority.

 “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” John F. Kennedy


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Stay Kind. Stay Courageous.

Sonia x