Recently I got schooled by my eight-year-old nephew on the subject of – aliens. He gave me a comprehensive lesson on the types of aliens, their motives, their spacecrafts, the aggressive kind of aliens (apparently found in Mexico and the USA), and the friendly kind. “Do you know where you can find the Friendly Aliens?” he asked. When I shook my head, he said assertively, “Scandinavia”. Maybe that’s why Norway, Denmark, and Finland have consistently been voted as the happiest countries in the world.
Before you shrug off my nephew’s notion of aliens as child’s play, it is worth noting that the Pentagon admitted to the existence of ‘unidentified aerial phenomena’ in 2021, releasing three US Navy videos of unidentified flying objects moving in inexplicable ways through the sky. And, as recently as July 2023, aliens made it into the US Congress in Washington, in the UFO Hearing with witnesses including a former navy commander, navy pilot, and whistle-blower David Grusch.
While the existence of aliens is still arguable, our lust for exploring the universe is not. The Russian Luna-25 spacecraft is currently in the moon’s orbit, and India’s Chandrayaan 3 probe is scheduled to land on the moon’s South Pole next week. NASA is planning to put the first people on the moon since Apollo 17 in 1972 in the next three years.
Then, of course, there is Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic, whose first commercial flight landed at Spaceport on 29 June 2023 (tickets for future flights will cost US$450 000). Other astral players in space tourism include Jeff Bezos (Blue Origin) and Elon Musk (SpaceX).
What is behind our obsession with space travel? Is it because it is the final frontier of travel? Have we watched too much Star Trek? Are billionaires just bored of earth?
Just like the motivation behind all travel, perhaps it has more to do with humanity’s instinct to explore the unknown. The universe is the ultimate unsolved mystery, and we do love our mysteries. Just keep an eye out – according to my nephew, aliens are already walking among us, hiding in human bodies.
Navigating Team Excellence with DISC: Harnessing Personality Styles for Effective Leadership
by Teresa Richardson
Amid the ebb and flow of teamwork, the journey presents both exhilarating challenges and rewarding collaborations. In the realm of diverse teams, you’ve likely encountered a few ‘choppy waters’. Here’s a compass guide with practical solutions to navigate these intricacies with finesse.
Decisions Dilemma: Have you grappled with the maze of differing opinions? Turn to the ‘Dynamo D’ or the versatile ‘CSI Chameleon’. These individuals adeptly wield the strengths of the ‘Influencer I’ style, uniting the team for pivotal decisions. Remember, a diverse team enriches collective success. Tip: Enhance decision-making by conducting structured brainstorming sessions, encouraging all team members to contribute before reaching a conclusion. This fosters participation while reducing biases.
Deadline Dragons: Attention meticulous ‘C’ navigators! Put aside concerns about impending deadlines. Employ your meticulous approach to chart the course or collaborate with steadfast ‘S’ first mates. Together, you’ll steer towards punctuality, overcoming the challenge of overthinking. Tip: Integrate project management tools for streamlined task assignments and progress tracking. Regularly evaluate and adjust deadlines to maintain attainable expectations.
Communication Conundrum: Carefully observe the subtleties of ineffective communication. Assign the ‘Supportive S’ to the listening post, while allowing the ‘Influencer I’ to shine with their positive communication skills. Maintain equilibrium to prevent overshadowing. Tip: Cultivate a culture of active listening by encouraging team members to paraphrase and reflect on others’ ideas. Brief check-ins ensure alignment and shared understanding.
Goals Abyss: Illuminate your path with clear objectives, the guiding stars to success. Employ the precision of the ‘Detailed C’ to craft meticulous plans, or entrust the ‘Dominant D’ to guide goal-setting. Remember, the ’Steadfast S’ thrives on focussed goals, ensuring no objective goes unmet. Tip: Segment larger goals into achievable milestones. During team meetings, revisit these milestones for progress tracking and necessary adaptations.
Creativity Abyss: When innovation falters, enlist the ‘Innovative I’ to provide a fresh perspective. Let their enthusiasm ignite the spark. Consider changing environments to rekindle creativity. New settings often spur innovative strategies. Tip: Introduce regular brainstorming sessions that encourage team members to share unconventional ideas. Infuse inspiration through guest speakers or organised field trips.
With DISC as your management toolkit, you’ll find the support you need to deftly handle common team challenges. Embrace the journey, obstacles and all, as its significance parallels that of the destination.
What the world was musing over the past week
The ultimate click-measuring contest
Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk have decided to fight each other mixed-martial-arts style in Rome’s ancient ruins, possibly even the Colosseum. Perhaps it’s a distraction from their plans for world domination.
Hey kids, the 80s are calling
Introducing the 25 kid finalists in USA’s Mullet Championship (begs the question – has the USA already been invaded by aliens?)
The questions of the universe
An image from the James Webb Space Telescope revealed a glowing red question mark in space. A Reddit user summed it up: “The aliens know we’ve found them, and now they’re just messing with us.”
Two Americans got stuck on the Eiffel Tower
Two US tourists had a little sleepover on Paris’ most famous monument. Apparently, day drinking does not go down well with climbing down 674 steps.