Chris Hadfield

By: Tasneem Rassas


The former Canadian astronaut for the CSA (Canadian Space Agency) Chris Hadfield, is a great inspiration to Canadians. He was born on the 29th of August in the year of 1959 making him 57 years old. He is an author, musician and even created videos in space to show others how life is in orbit. The astronaut was raised on a corn farm in southern Ontario. Ever since Chris was a young child watching the Apollo 11 moon landing on television he knew that one day he wanted to explore space. In April of 2001 Chris Hadfield served as a Mission Specialist 1 on STS-100; during this mission Chris Hadfield performed two space walks. Not only was he titles the first ever Canadian to walk in space but he also become a leader in the eyes of us Canadians.
Chris Hadfield Brushes his Teeth in Space
Here is one of many videos Chris Hadfield creates, to teach people how things that we do in our daily lives change when your in space.

What made Hadfield a leader?

Chris Hadfield led a couple of space missions in his career. He served as Mission Specialist 1 in 1995 on STS-74. On this mission he flew as the first Canadian mission specialist, the first Canadian to work the Canadarm in orbit and the first Canadian to board the Russian Space Station Mir.. As aforementioned he was also the Mission Specialist 1 on STS-10 where they delivered and installed the Canadarm2. Finally Commander Hadfield was the commander of NEEMO 14, an underwater mission. His roles in his missions were what made him a leader.

Leadership actions

When you are an astronaut flying at 7.7 kilometres a second and installing equipment that took years to make you have no room to make mistakes. In this type of situation people need to have someone step up and lead them to success. Chris Hadfield was a leader in multiple stressful situations but he led them perfectly without panic. When you are put into a stressful situation do you wait for someone to get up and tell you what to do or do you start ordering others on what they should do? These are the type of actions that differentiate a leader from a follower.

Leadership Traits

The famous leader Nelson Mandela's 8 lessons of leadership explains eight different traits that leaders should have. I noticed that Chris Hadfield portrays three of these traits.

"Ultimately, leadership is not about glorious crowning acts. It's about keeping your team focused on a goal and motivated to do their best to achieve it, especially when the stakes are high and the consequences really matter. It is about laying the groundwork for others' success, and then standing back and letting them shine." -Chris Hadfield

This quote said by Commander Hadfield in a conference showed that Chris concealed his efforts in the face of his crew. He was very humble about how great of a leader he was. Chris Hadfield let the others succeed and gave them credit for it. He recognizes the importance of team work. This trait relates to Mandela's third lesson of leadership "Lead from the back-and let others believe they are in front".

"Sweat the small stuff, without letting anyone see you sweat." -Chris Hadfield

The quote above relates to Nelson Mandela's lesson "Courage is not absence of fear-it's inspiring others to move beyond it". As a leader Chris Hadfield knew that everyone has fear but what is more important than 'sweating' is that no one sees your struggle or fear. This helped inspire them to move past their fear. Leaders are meant to be strong and fearless so that their followers don't fear; if commander Hadfield were to let anyone see him 'sweat' then everyone would 'sweat'.

"It's not enough to shelve your own competitive streak. You have to try, consciously, to help others succeed."

Chris Hadfield was not leaving his base behind when he stated this quote. Chris always does whatever he can to help his team succeed instead of just thinking about himself. True leaders aren't selfish but instead helpful to others. The whole point of a leader is to help others succeed and that is what Chris Hadfield is doing.


Chris Hadfield will forever be known as a leader in this world. He is a classic example showing how it is possible to achieve your goals in life. I wish to become like Commander Hadfield in the future.


"Chris Hadfield." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 17 Sept. 2016.

"Biography of Chris Hadfield." Canadian Space Agency Website. N.p., June 2013. Web. 17 Sept. 2016.

By Looking at the Difference between Perceived Danger and Actual Danger, You Can Fundamentally Change Your Reaction. "TOP 25 QUOTES BY CHRIS HADFIELD (of 64) | A-Z Quotes." A-Z Quotes. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Sept. 2016.

Kranc, Joel. "What Space Taught Chris Hadfield about Leadership." The Globe and Mail. N.p., Jan. 2014. Web. 17 Sept. 2016.