The Wisdom
Exchange

With Patrick Mosher

Simple Elegant Solutions

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Last century I was a young Chemical Engineering Co-op student.  I got to do my first professional gig as a Chemical Engineering after just one year of Freshman Engineering curriculum under my belt.  Freshman Calculus, Chemistry, English.  Hardly qualified to do any real engineering work.  

Nonetheless, I travelled from my hometown of Cincinnati to Corning, New York.  Headquarters for Corning Glass Works. 

I was reminded over and over that I was Corning's first Co-op student.  A Talent Experiment for this small Chemical Engineering department which serviced all of Corning's locations and diverse products:  light bulbs, micro-sized medical products, lab benchtops, Corelle, Pyrex, resistors and capacitors for computers, Steuben fine crystal, optical wave fiber, on and on. 

I quickly got enthralled with the unique qualities of glass.  Did you know that glass is an...

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Your Best is Calling You!

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Please stop signing your letters and emails with     'Best'

Other forms include:

  • All the Best
  • Best Regards
  • Very Best

Why? 

Reserve "Best" for exactly that …. your Best. 

By the way, 'Very Best' is particularly troublesome.  If Best is indeed best, what does 'Very Best' mean?  Is there a category of Best which is less than Very Best?  I learned imaginary numbers in high school.  Perhaps this category of 'Best Less Than Very Best' lies in that realm.

How do you define Your Best?  Let's find out!

I'm working with Bo Eason, Storytelling Expert, Former NFL All Star, Broadway Playwright and Motivation Speaker.  He works with people to be their Best.  Working with him has made the word, Best, nearly sacred for me. 

Let's explore!

Best is defined as 'the most excellent, outstanding or desirable.' 

Best isn't just a high bar.  It's the...

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Are Your Team's Binoculars Locked Up? A Titanic Story

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It was a calm cold night with stars in the sky.  No moon.  Titanic was traveling at her full speed.  About 22.5 knots.  Titanic's lookouts in the crow's nest peered through the haze with their naked eyes to look for anything dangerous in their path. 

Imagine that.  They were squinting into the night.

Weren't the lookouts equipped with binoculars?

YES, they were.  In fact, there were binoculars IN the crow's nest storage locker. 

Well then, why weren't they using them?

The storage locker was locked and the key for that locker….

Wasn't aboard the Titanic!

The officer who had that precious key was re-assigned right before Titanic's launch.  He had the key in his pocket and forgot to turn it over.

Before you accuse anyone of 'negligence' ask yourself: 

Have you ever forgotten where your keys are?

Happens to me nearly every day.  Actually, I more often forget...

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37 Second Transition From World Class to Epic Disaster: A Titanic Story

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It was a calm cold night with stars in the sky.  No moon.  Titanic was traveling at her full speed.  About 22.5 knots.  Titanic's lookouts in the crow's nest peered through the haze to look for anything dangerous in their path. 

When they saw the iceberg, they rang the lookout bell three times and telephoned the bridge. 

"Iceberg, right ahead!"

In the next 37 seconds, the Titanic travelled 300 yards and ….

…collided with that mammoth iceberg.  11:40 PM on Sunday April 14, 1912. 

37 seconds separated 'Titanic' from meaning the epitome of modern shipbuilding and the essence of speed and elegance to our modern archetype of … Epic Disaster.

Just 37 seconds

How far out are you scanning your environment for dangerous icebergs that could come out of nowhere?  Your 'iceberg' could be a technology advancement that rocks your industry, a competitor's product...

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Full Steam Ahead

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Full Speed Ahead!

The last order the captain of the Titanic gave before he retired for the night. 

You've got a sturdy ship underfoot. In fact, THE most robust ship that modern shipbuilding has ever produced. 

The estimated distance from Queenstown (Cobh), Ireland to NYC is 2825 miles.  At a decent cruising speed, you can make the journey in 137 hours.

It's common practice to run ships at full steam at night.

It is a clear night with stars in the sky.  Calm water. 

Nothing out of the ordinary here. 

Oh yea….let her RUN!

And then….

Well, you know how this story ends.

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How often have you told your team:

Let's Do It.  Let's Go!  No Stopping Us Now!  We've Got This!

All great ways to stir up and motivate your team.  And most times, appropriate.

There are times, however, full speed ahead drives your right into a looming disaster.

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  1. My...
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Cutting Corners

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Cutting Corners

We all do it.  To make budget, we use cheaper materials.  We get by with sub-par software that barely meet our needs.  We jerry rig solutions.  And there's a craft to it.  Even an art.

It's awesome to figure out a dime solution for a dollar problem.

Alas, we're not talking about elegant solutions today.  

Today we're talking about Cutting Corners where we shouldn't.  It happens.  We pray the client doesn't notice.  We pray the solution holds together.  We hold our breath until that moment passes.

Whew…we escaped disaster!

And yet sometimes ….

Sigh.  Our nightmare unfolds before our eyes.

Cutting Corner disasters aren't usually gaping holes.  They usually begin with little gaps that add up. 

Titanic's rivets were 3 ¾ inches long with a shank diameter of 1 inch.  3 million of them held the Titanic together!

In...

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Unsinkable

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9 AM in New York City.  Standing in front of the large conference room with 24 executives.  Leaders of their 4 respective companies.  New York, LA, London and Singapore.  

Confident of my facilitation skills we dove in.

By Noon, I felt beat up.  Exhausted.  Grossly unprepared.

My supervisor said he would take over facilitating the meeting for the afternoon.

What happened?

The week before the meeting, my supervisor and my team kept asking with worried tones, 'Are we ready?'  

My response:  "Trust Me."  "I've got this."  "I'm a world class facilitator." 

Overconfidence.

I let my world class facilitation skills block my view of what we needed to succeed.  

Have you ever gotten so good at something, you slip into going through the motions?  

Most times this works.  We get used to success.  We prepare less.  And the fuse is lit.  It's only...

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How to Obtain Emotional Freedom. It's Tricky.

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A friend of mine saw one of my recent posts:  "What emotional freedom do you have right now?"  

He asked, "Would love to hear your definition of emotional freedom and how to obtain it."

Great question!   Thank you!

Simply put, 

Emotional Freedom describes those moments when you can safely express your deepest emotions 

What is an Emotion?  

The University of California, Berkely published a study in 2017 identifying 28 discrete emotions.  As you read this list, think about a time you felt each of these emotions.  

  • Admiration
  • Adoration
  • Aesthetic Appreciation
  • Amusement
  • Anger
  • Annoyed
  • Anxiety
  • Awe
  • Awkwardness
  • Boredom
  • Calmness
  • Confusion
  • Craving
  • Disgust
  • Empathic Pain
  • Entrancement
  • Excitement
  • Fear
  • Horror
  • Interest
  • Joy
  • Nostalgia
  • Relief
  • Romance
  • Sadness
  • Satisfaction
  • Sexual Desire
  • Surprise 

If you are serious about unlocking your Emotional Freedom, read this list again, one by one, and...

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What I Lost in Ceremony on the Great Plains

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In 1995, I was on the prairie of South Dakota very near the badlands.  If you've ever traveled to the Great Plains, it is amazing.  When you look over the rolling hills, you can literally see so far you see the curvature of the Earth.

For 23 years, I participated in ancient ceremonies of the Plains people.  

3 days into the 1995 ceremony.  Sun high in the mid-afternoon.  Scorching hot.  114 degrees.  With the intensity of both the natural elements and the ceremony, I wondered how my life brought me to this moment.

So many things bound me to my past.  So much weight in the present moment.

What would it take to be free?

Expectations of what it meant to be successful.  Some self-imposed.  Some placed by well-meaning parents.  Some expectations met.  Some missed.  And there were those demeaning childhood roles of which my siblings constantly reminded me. ...

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Planting Seeds

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This past week I received a LinkedIn message, requesting a connection.  I get a lot of those, but this person sent me an accompanying message explaining WHY he wanted to connect.

Dear Patrick, hope you are well.  I am PhD student and fondly recall meeting with you during your visit on campus a few years ago.  I would love to remain connected.  

I remember having a brilliant conversation with you when I was in a dilemma and you introduced me to the concept of 'cognitive dissonance.'  I have benefitted from knowing that.  Thank you.

How did this simple LinkedIn Request lift my heart?

When I go back to my alma mater, Purdue, I schedule as many conversations with students as I can.  I figure if I say something wise maybe it'll lodge somewhere in their psyche or soul and a small change happens.  One small change and maybe their life trajectory changes by 1 degree.  I believe a...

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