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As Coach, Keynote Speaker and Thinking Partner, Dr. Jeff Hester helps individuals and organizations find focus and success in a changing world.

As Coach, Keynote Speaker and Thinking Partner, Dr. Jeff Hester helps individuals and organizations find focus and success in a changing world.

Finding Success in Changing Times

 

“Finding Success in Changing Times.” That sounds nice. I’ll have some of that. Sign me up!

If only it were that easy! But it’s not. Finding success in changing times doesn’t just happen, and there is no magic formula. Staying out in front of change can be a very precarious dance.

Hubble astrophysicist Dr. Jeff Hester is a coach, keynote speaker, and thought partner.

Dr. Jeff Hester standing in front of the Hubble Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2. Dr. Hester was a member of three Hubble Space Telescope instrument teams, and played a key role on the team that repaired the telescope. Time Magazine named his Hubble image, “The Pillars of Creation,” one of the 100 most influential photographs in history.

Finding success in changing times isn’t something that you do once and have it over with. Instead, succeeding in the face of change is an ongoing process. It has to be. That is what “change” means! Yesterday’s recipe for success might not work today. And today’s recipe for success might not work tomorrow.

Change doesn’t play fair. It doesn’t tap you on the shoulder to warn you, and it doesn’t stop to let you catch up. To stay out in front of change you have to see it coming. Finding success in changing times is something that you have to do every single day. It has to become a habit.

When it comes right down to it, the hardest and usually the scariest part of finding success in changing times is that it requires us to change! That means changing what we think. It means changing what we do. And most importantly it means constantly reassessing what we know.

You remember the lessons that you learn the hard way

It is one thing to talk about change, knowledge, risk, failure and success. It is another to live them in spectacular style with the whole world looking on. I sat in front of a computer on live national television and processed the very first image returned by the Hubble Space Telescope. That was the image that showed that the telescope was badly flawed. There is nothing quite like seeing your project become an international symbol of just how bad failure can be!

With the project in crisis, I joined the team responsible for the camera that would ultimately turn Hubble from a joke into the triumph it became. It takes a lot to rise from the ashes, especially when the whole world is looking over your shoulder. Or perhaps I should say, breathing down your neck.

As anyone who has ever had to deal with that kind or pressure knows, raising the stakes and cranking up the scrutiny can make it even harder to find the right path. Buy me a beer and we can talk about how easy it would have been to fall victim to the same kinds of mistakes that crippled Hubble in the first place!

Quoting science fiction author Robert Heinlein, “Live and learn, or you don’t live long.” After 30 years of experiencing both success and failure in that high pressure, high risk world, I’ve learned a few things that I think are worth sharing.

Finding bedrock: Knowledge changes, but how to approach knowledge does not. 

I’ll let you in on a little secret, just between the two of us. The world is sublimely unconcerned with what we believe, what we think, what somebody told us, or what we want to be true. 

The accelerating pace of change

The only thing that you can be certain of in today’s changing world is that tomorrow will be different than today.

In a battle between reality and preconceptions, opinions, and desires, reality wins every time. If you can wrap your head around that fact – and I mean really understand that statement and its implications – then you are off to a good start. Because there is some really good news. In the midst of it all, there is one piece of bedrock that you can hold onto.

What you need to know is a moving target. But how to know remains the same. There is a right way to approach knowledge. There is a way to spot change while it is early enough to deal with it proactively instead of reactively. There is a way to identify the opportunities that come with change early enough to act. When you learn to stare reality in the face without blinking, change stops being a lion in the shadows waiting to pounce, and instead becomes a wave to ride.

That, in a nutshell, is what I do. Whether working as coach, giving a keynote, or sitting around a conference room table brainstorming ideas, my focus is always the same. I help clients learn how to see themselves, their organizations, and their world more clearly. I help them take control of their own knowledge, and in the process take control of the risks and opportunities that will determine their futures.


  • “It is easy for me to be lavish in my praise of Dr. Jeff Hester. To my mind he is one of the best “explainers” in our midst today… He is a front-runner among those whose willingness and ability allow them to cross the walls of different fields. His handling of Q & A sessions is masterful, and audiences he interacts with find their time has been more than worthwhile. I believe him to be motivated by impulse deeper than his career: the promotion of ideas that further the health and potential of our society.”

    Hugh Downs

    Emmy Award Winning Broadcaster


  • “Jeff has a rare combination of extraordinary intelligence and the ability to take extremely complex topics and make them consumable for the masses. His broad range of experience makes him a valuable part of any team because he approaches every problem or situation in a unique way. Most importantly, Jeff listens. He hears what you have to say before providing constructive feedback and has a clear passion for helping others to learn and succeed.”

    Barret Howell

    Regional Sales Manager

    Q2ebanking


  • “The whole affair was a home run… The real highlight of the evening was Dr. Hester. He held the audience in absolute stunned silence as he described the relationships of the universe and beyond. A fantastic presentation. He nailed it.”

    Russell Violett

    Major General, US Air Force (ret)


  • “Dr. Jeff Hester is loved and respected for his ability to communicate his message effectively and understandably. He is universally well received. . . Dr. Hester is a delight to work with.”

    Gena Bonsal

    Director, Office of Presidential Advancement

    Arizona State University


  • “Dr. Jeff Hester coached me through one of the most difficult career decisions I have ever faced. With his help, I was able to identify and articulate my ultimate goals and set priorities. With Jeff’s guidance, I was finally able to come to a decision that was in alignment with my core values; one that is in my personal and professional best interest. Subsequently, Jeff has helped me identify obstacles and methods to address them, and establish a clear path forward.”

    Melissa Morris

    Associate Professor

    State University of New York


  • “Dr. Jeff Hester was a hit at our summer leadership conference. He is a five-star speaker with a practical, hard-hitting message that goes to the core of what makes businesses succeed and fail. I think that everyone in the room felt like he was talking to them personally. I hope to see him again at another of our meetings!”

    Julie Courtney

    Senior Vice President

    Independent Bankers Association of Texas


  • “My work with Jeff has had immediate and obvious benefits to me professionally. It is stretching and challenging me in unexpected ways, and it’s fun! Jeff is a fantastic coach.”

    Andrew Westphal

    Senior Research Fellow

    Space Sciences Laboratory

    University of California – Berkeley


Finding Success in Changing Times  © Dr. Jeff Hester
Content may not be copied to other sites. All Rights Reserved.

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    This article originally appeared in my Astronomy Magazine column, For Your Consideration.

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    This article originally appeared in my Astronomy Magazine column, For Your Consideration.

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    Read Article

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    The benefits of being a machine

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    This article originally appeared in my Astronomy Magazine column, For Your Consideration.

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    This article originally appeared in my Astronomy Magazine column, For Your Consideration.

    Read Article

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    This article originally appeared in my Astronomy Magazine column, For Your Consideration.

    Read Article

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Recent Article Mobile

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  • Looking at room full of amateur astronomers, gathered for the Okie-Tex Star Party under the spectacularly dark skies of the Oklahoma Panhandle, I am reminded of my own roots and those who helped me discover the universe.

    This article originally appeared in my Astronomy Magazine column, For Your Consideration.

  • A strong fight-or-flight reaction served our evolutionary ancestors well. If the leopard catches you, that’s it! But today a visceral response to a not-so-mortal threat seldom improves things. If you want to get a handle on those intense, counterproductive bouts of emotion, start by understanding where fight-or-flight came from in the first place.

  • Alone, 100 feet underwater, with a shark in its element, I am overwhelmed by a mixture of awe, beauty, joy, and intellectual wonder at the world that brings us together. In that moment, I experience just what science is all about.

    This article originally appeared in my Astronomy Magazine column, For Your Consideration.

  • Chaos is a sticky wicket for science. There are things a correct theory like climate change cannot predict, but there are a lot of things that it can. It’s important to understand which is which.

    This article originally appeared in my Astronomy Magazine column, For Your Consideration.

  • On Earth Day, April 22, 2017, people around the nation will March for Science. It seems strange to need to march in support of the idea that pronouncements from politicians cannot change the nature of reality, or that evidence matters when making decisions. But such are the peculiar times in which we live.

  • For biological organisms, interstellar travel is hopelessly difficult, and probably pointless. For sentient machines, however, home is the environment you were built for.

    This article originally appeared in my Astronomy Magazine column, For Your Consideration.

  • It would be fun to think there is a flourishing interstellar civilization of humanoid aliens out there. But then it would also be nice to believe in unicorns and midichlorians. It would be nice, but they probably aren’t there.

    This article originally appeared in my Astronomy Magazine column, For Your Consideration.

  • Gilding the lily makes everybody look bad. When the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory detected ripples in the fabric of space-time from a pair of merging black holes, it was a technological and scientific accomplishment without peer! But LIGO did not “discover” gravity waves.

    This article originally appeared in my Astronomy Magazine column, For Your Consideration.

  • Fundamental change is always messy. As science tackles the complex processes that shape the real world it is having to reinvent itself on the fly. Welcome to the Wild West!

    This article originally appeared in my Astronomy Magazine column, For Your Consideration.

  • As science has evolved from simple observation to deep understanding, each new way of thinking about the world has transformed not only science, but human society. That evolution is far from over.

    This article originally appeared in my Astronomy Magazine column, For Your Consideration.

  • From roughneck to Principle Investigator of Hubble’s Wide Field/Planetary Camera, Jim Westphal showed just how far competence, curiosity, and a flawless bullshit filter can take you.

    This article originally appeared in my Astronomy Magazine column, For Your Consideration.

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    This article originally appeared in my Astronomy Magazine column, For Your Consideration.

Over his 30 year career as an internationally known astrophysicist, Dr. Jeff Hester was a key member of the team that repaired the Hubble Space Telescope. With one foot always on the frontiers of knowledge, he has been mentor, coach, team leader, award-winning teacher, administrator and speaker, to name a few of the hats he has worn. His Hubble image, the Pillars of Creation, was chosen by Time Magazine as among the 100 most influential photographs in history.
©Dr. Jeff Hester LLC, 5301 S. Superstition Mountain Dr., Suite 104 #171, Gold Canyon, AZ 85118