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Think for 8 Seconds

In a recent interview with INC, Jonathan McBride, who served as the director of the Presedential Personnel Office in the White House, discusses leadership in crisis moments. Near the end of the article, McBride shares this insight:

You want people who will speak truth to power. In a crisis, you really don’t want to be “yessed.” But the main thing to tune in to is people who are calm, who think clearly. At the White House, we used to tell a story about an astronaut who posed a question to a group of people: “Say you’re at the International Space Station and suddenly your oxygen goes out. You know you’ve got about 10 seconds before you start to lose consciousness. What do you do?” People started blurting out all these things they would do first—and he interrupts and says, “No. You think for eight seconds, and you make one move.”

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