Sometimes it’s good to be a Zero!

I’ve been making my way through Chris Hadfield’s interesting book entitled An Astronaut’s Guide To Life On Earth in which he describes life in space and the lessons he learned throughout his lifelong quest to become an astronaut.  Although I have not finished reading the book, one interesting idea emerged that got me reflecting on my practice professionally and personally.

He describes three states of being; minus one, zero, or plus one.

Minus One: is when your contribution has a negative impact on the outcome of the project or task usually characterized by compensating for your lack of knowledge or experience by making it look like you know more than you actually do.  Faking it.

Zero: is when your contribution has a neutral impact on the outcome of the project or task usually characterized by periods of observation. Learning it.

Plus One: is when your contribution has a positive impact on the outcome of the project or task usually characterized by action informed by knowledge and experience.  Doing it.

 

Are there situations in which you have been a minus one, zero and plus one?  What was the outcome?

 

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About Darcy McDonald

Searching for ways that the not-for-profit sector can leverage the lessons learned by the for-profit sector.

2 comments

  1. Hi Darcy,

    It seems that most of the people out there are minus ones or zeroes. That explains why most projects take a ridicilous amount of time to get done these days.

    A few decades ago, I think it was the inverse. People used to love their jobs, they used to be very motivated. This is no longer the case.

    • Thanks for your comment and I do understand your perspective. It could be that a good place to start is by looking at our own practice and it becomes even more important when we are confronted by the minus ones. I often look back on situations and try to determine if I was being a minus one, zero or plus one.

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