Archive for June, 2009

NASA AMES…Getting Mooned Again

LCROSS_Centaur_Sep_small-1I remember joyfully when Mom used to let me cut school for NASA launches and re-entries. Had I had more of a mathematical and scientific personality vs a creative, ADD mentality, I might have become a pilot or astronaut.

I have spent the majority of this great life exploring inner space through meditation with Guru Sri Chinmoy and that’s been an extraordinary, life-changing experience.

Still, I’m still really excited that NASA’s Ames facility in Silicon Valley is managing the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) mission. This is a pretty cool effort to help determine if there is water hidden in the permanently dark craters of one of the moon’s poles.

NASA plans to crash a vehicle into the moon’s south pole and fly a partner craft through the huge plume created by the crash to analyze it for signs of water and other compounds. Additional space and earth-based instruments also will study the plume, which scientists expect to be larger than 200 metric tons.

If there are substantial amounts of water ice there, it could be used by astronauts to make rocket fuel when they later visit the moon. The $79 million crash is expected to take place in October.

I’m all for going to the moon and Mars while dealing with all the other financial and social exigencies on earth. Space exploration has, in past, challenged America to brilliant innovation, and resulted in all kinds of new products and services.

And we must redirect the innovation driving America’s weapons industry into clean tech, space tech and other more peaceful manifestations of science.

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Congress Needs Team Building and Consensus Training

I have been working with Jeff Dorman, who is a dear friend and client, on a series of videos that articulate his philosophy on executive training. Jeff, who heads JDA International, a leadership training firm based on Princeton, NJ, cut his teeth in the food processing industry building Dorman Cheese with his family into a huge, national brand. Now he’s a highly respected national trainer who serves many Fortune 100 clients.

I’ve been reviewing a series of Jeff’s video segments that my firm produced through which he conveys his philosophy, expertise and experience on a number of topics including public speaking, leadership, employee performance, management, team building, consensus, etc.  I walked away very impressed by the methodology he applied to his training approach which has helped thousands of executives and supervisors perform more effectively and efficiently in financial services, banking, food processing, and manufacturing.

So when I read the NY Times’ story about Obama’s health care plan, and how the Republicans in Congress stood up in opposition to it from the moment it was announced (like just about every other Obama initiative), I realized that Members of Congress could benefit from team building and consensus training from a guy like Jeff Dorman.

As Jeff pointed out in one of his videos, managers often are promoted into positions for which they lack communications, public speaking, and leadership skills.  With some basic coaching, these folks can perform better and so will the company.

Is there a team building opportunity here for Members of Congress?

PS: To learn more about leadership, performance, communication and sales training, check out JDA’s blog.

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