4 Challenges for YOU as a Leader in These Times of Civil Unrest

Are you a business leader?  A spiritual leader?  A community leader?

What do you see as your primary obligation as a leader in turbulent times?

There is A LOT of civil unrest in the world.  Right here in the streets of Minneapolis, we've had a tumultuous couple weeks – the epicenter of international attention.  The world was stunned for 8 minutes as we watched a policeman brutally kill a black man.  Outrage.  Riots.  Looting.  Peaceful protests.  Community Outreach.  All this within miles of my safe and secure home.

It is an easy decision for me to sit idly and wait for this social unrest to pass. 

No one is waiting to hear Patrick Mosher's perspective. 

The root of the word Negligence is Neglect.

With the recent events here in Minneapolis, I am Negligent if I say nothing. 

But what do I say?  How do I say it?

I admit.  I am afraid.

My Wisdom 4 Humanity blog is NOT a political forum.  It is, however, a social movement forum.

The basic premise of my Wisdom 4 Humanity Movement is to gather, store and share wisdom to alter the course of human history.  Change the world for GOOD!

And NOW is the time for social change, wouldn't you say?

With recent events here in Minneapolis, my first action was to reach out to friends, people of color, and ask about their perspective on what happened here in Minneapolis.

Within 30 minutes of my request, one friend sent a list of references, speeches and articles to read on what it means to be a white ally.  He was ready.   I was not.

Challenge #1.  Educate Myself

Another friend said she considered not talking to me.  Why?  She didn't want to have a conversation just so I could feel better about myself.

Truth sometimes hurts.

Challenge #2.  Clarify My True Intention

Talking to my friends there were no simple answers.  Nothing to make me feel better.  In fact, I realized how much our worlds were further apart than I imagined.  And yet they stuck with me all these years. 

I am grateful.

One friend was clear:  "Today, I am asking you to claim your rightful role in shaping a world where all of us get the privilege to BE in the truth of who we really are.  Today, I am asking you to be brave."

She didn't prescribe any course of action.  Her one request, though, was to NOT stay silent. 

Silence Does Not Serve.

Our world has erupted.  Voices are loud!  We hear frustration shaped over generations.  Shoved under the table for centuries.  It's time to listen to voices in protest.  Listen to views with which we vehemently disagree. 

Challenge #3.  Listen Without Judgment and Learn

Until I fully understand a person's perspective, I have no right to judge them or their point of view.  In the end, we may agree to disagree, but at least we listened, learned and respected the right to speak up. 

That is an Inalienable Right in the United States.

A Story of Conscious Bias

When I was in my consulting career, we rolled out a course called Unconscious Bias to our Strategy practice.  Within the first 10 minutes of the 3-hour course, I was SO upset that they were teaching political correctness. 

  • Don't engage conversation, step back
  • Reflect before saying anything.
  • Don't upset the applecart.

I was the highest-ranking person in the room, so I abruptly stopped the course and provided a different perspective.   

I think of our personalities as made up of 70,000 lines of code.  I assume at least 700 lines of my code are biased.  As a Baby Boomer and white male, I grew up with privilege.  The only way I will discover those biased lines of code in my personality is to speak up.  Engage.  Authentically.  Humbly.  With Love and Care in my heart.  If I say something from my biased lines of code, I will receive feedback.  And that feedback may not always be wrapped in a nice pretty package. 

I'm afraid to speak up. 

  • What if I say something wrong?
  • What if I say something that offends somebody?
  • What happens if somebody attacks me back?

Speaking up is essential to growing and learning.

I am prepared to find those bias lines of code and make myself more and more … my Best Me. 

Speaking up Serves

After that first day of Unconscious Bias training, I taught the course four times.  I'm no expert, but here's one HUGE and Tiny takeaway.


I had never heard that term.  Microaggressions are brief and common daily verbal, behavioral and environmental communication that transmit hostile, derogatory or negative messages to a target person because they belong to a certain group.  These are the little things that happen every day. 

This is where the Battle of Inequality is going to be won. 

One of my friends of color said, "Patrick, from being a change management expert, you know the devil's in the details.  Those little microaggressions that happen every day."

Microaggressions are tough to spot, especially through our biased lines of code!  They are the jokes, the omissions and even the tiniest of nonverbal looks. 

The battle lines are drawn, starting within ME!

Challenge #4.  Take the First Step Towards a Solution

An incident causes outrage in a moment.  It is a spark.  Social change requires persistence and a long-range view.  As my friend warned if I accept her challenge, "Prepare yourself for Sustained Discomfort."

The battle against Inequality of any type will be won by overcoming microaggressions -- at work, in our community, in our homes and in our own 70,000 lines of code! 

I was talking to a friend who has two daughters, 5 and 3 years old.  My hope is her daughter's grandchildren ask, "Grandma, you grew up in the 2020's.  What is racial inequality?"

In our declaration of independence, we state all people are created equal.  Let's keep the path clear.

It's 2020.  What is your bold declaration for this decade?

As a spiritual leader. As a business leader.  Speak up for your core values.  Your core philosophies.  Declare your Life Mission to make a better world! 

Declare it and prepare for Sustained Discomfort. 

This blog post is one step in my Wisdom 4 Humanity movement.  What is your next step?  Your next best action of integrity to fulfill your Life Mission?

Know this:   Silence Does Not Serve Your Life Mission

Have Courage.  Be BOLD.   Take my 4-step Wisdom 4 Humanity challenge

Challenge #1.  Clarify Your True Intention

Challenge #2.  Educate Yourself

Challenge #3.  Listen Without Judgment and Learn

Challenge #4.  Take the First Step Towards a Solution

And then take a bonus fifth challenge,

Challenge #5.  Adapt and Repeat

If I pushed a button of yours, PLEASE reach out.  I humbly and continuously search for my lines of biased code. 

Let's Exchange Authentically!


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