With Patrick Mosher
What happens next when something goes wrong in your organization?
Over my 30-year consulting career, I've seen PLENTY of miscues, difficulties, challenges and interruptions. They aren't exceptions. They are the RULE!
Leaders typically respond in one of two modes when things go awry:
I'd like to think I've led my teams with that Cool Confidence, but you'd have to ask my teams to validate. Certainly confidence comes from a leader's demeanor or mindset. I could talk about meditation, confidence and leadership traits. Instead, here is a pragmatic strategy to BUILD confidence BEFORE everything goes awry!
There's plenty of project management processes and tools on Contingency Plan and Planning. Look them up. Use them. All good stuff.
My approach is different. I'll begin with ….. a story
A Wisdom Story about...
When something goes wrong, we seek for reasons WHY it went wrong. It's only natural. In consulting, we called it Root Cause Analysis. Unfortunately, in our attention deficit world, we don't have the patience or the time to dig deep and find root causes. Instead we rely on easy.
Blame is Easy
Too easy. When someone cuts you off in traffic, you ASSUME the person is a jerk and that's what they ALWAYS do. Your blood boils. Maybe a few choice words spew out of your mouth. In that moment, when your attention is consumed, did you just cut someone else off?
A Wisdom Story of Driving Like a Lunatic
What was the root cause of that person cutting you off? Are they having a bad day? Are they late for their wedding? Did they come out of the womb, born a jerk with a capital "J"? You don't know. You can't know. So why assume the worst?
I remember an exact moment I was that guy. That speeding nut,...
Are you living every day to your fullest potential? If not, you're experiencing RESISTANCE.
Webster tells us the definition of Resistance is refusing to accept or comply with something; the attempt to prevent something by action or argument. Sure, that's a noble view of resistance, especially when resisting evil forces.
In this weekly broadcast, we're talking about Internal Resistance: the forces YOU put in place which prevent you from accomplishing your goals, your mission.
When I think of Internal Resistance, I lean towards the scientific definition:
The degree to which a substance or device opposes the flow of an electric current, causing energy dissipation.
Your Internal Resistance obstructs flow….and energy dissipates! Yep, THAT's the truth!
Ever feel like you are dissipating energy while making ZERO progress? Instead of opening that blank page and begin writing, you surf the internet for inspiration….for...
How often do you get a handwritten letter in the mail? Do you toss it aside like the coupon mailer? OF COURSE NOT!! A smile grows on your face as you see your name and address handwritten on the front of the envelope. You instantly glance to the upper left-hand corner to see who bestowed this gift on you today! You may not even take another step before you slice it open to behold what message awaits you. Like getting a holiday gift!
Every month I receive Wired magazine in my mailbox. I open and feel the slick pages of the magazine on my fingertips. When I find a particularly interesting article, I cut it out, make 2 copies, fold them up, address two envelopes to my grown daughters and send it off. After regularly doing this routine for a couple years, I realized the beautiful irony of this monthly ritual. WIRED magazine. Cutting articles from a magazine about our WIRED world. Making copies on my all-in-one...
Interruption. The word itself makes us crinkle our noses! Interruptions are SO annoying! We get interrupted by a child's yelling at the mall. By a rude driver as we cruise – late for an appointment. By someone talking too loudly on their cellphone at the airport. Just yesterday I was at Barnes & Noble and there was a young couple both on their cell phones. The young man was playing music loud enough for both (and everyone else) to hear. AARGH!
What is an interruption? Webster says to interrupt is an 'occasion when someone or something stops something from happening for a short period.'
Yep, interruptions stop something from happening. We get sidetracked from our agenda. Pulled from our reverie. Our motion stops going forward at the same rate. Off track and distracted. BLECH!
Interruptions, though, are defined from a single reference point: OURS!
In the late 90's I was asked to speak on a Change Management panel. About 60 people packed into the little classroom. During Q&A, someone asked about the Graying of America. The first two panelists gave their answers about investing in pharmaceuticals, boomerang parents and dementia. Basically, the burden old folks put on our society. I was next and I'm sure I gave an incredibly enlightened answer which I can't remember today.
The fourth panelist glanced down at the three of us, looked at the crowd and said, "My fellow panelists have interesting and important perspectives, but I have a different one. We are entering an unprecedented time in our human history when we have more wisdom on the planet than any other time. And we're wasting it."
You could hear a pin drop.
Something in me changed forever in that moment. Ask yourself, do you feel like you are basking in the amazing wisdom that exists IN THIS MOMENT on our...
Do you remember setting the dinner table when you were a kid?
Table Manners was a high priority in our household. Setting the table, just so. Forks, spoons, knives and napkins all in their right place.
Sitting at our dinner table, I can still hear my Dad's remarks bark across the table:
We didn't get dessert until everyone finished the main course. Sometimes I fidgeted at the table as each person finished their meal, just ACHING to jump from the table to continue playing with my Matchbox cars!
Ah, but I found a twist! As the youngest of four children I discovered I could use that rule to exert my power over the entire family. I learned how to eat REAL slow, all three of my siblings glaring at me. Yes, 16 chews on this spoonful of peas is about right. Chew. Chew. ...
The Portal Shows Up...
I was in a modern dance company with my friend Philip who turned professional after college. He was in the national company of Norway and came through my hometown of Minneapolis on his way to participate in a one-week Lakota ceremony in the Black Hills of South Dakota. He asked if I wanted to go with him. And I said, 'Sure! '
It was the first time I'd ever been on Pine Ridge Reservation and the Black Hills. First time I'd ever done a sweat lodge. I mean, it was just magical! At the end of the week, he said, "I'm leaving from here to go to a three-week ceremony. Why don't you come with me?" I told him I couldn't call up my corporate job on Saturday to tell them I'd be gone for another three weeks. I'd have no job. He responded, "And that's a problem? Why?" I explained again how important the job was to me and that it was rare in the corporate environment to take three weeks off. ...
Have you ever wondered if you adequately develop your Character or show up with Character at work? With your kids? In your life?
What Does Character Even Mean?
Let's start with the definition of Character. Webster dictionary gives us all sorts of definitions of the word, Character.
What do you see as common elements in those five definitions of Character? I see … DISTINGUISH. After all, who wants to go to the movies or a watch a play or read a novel with bland characters? Or how could you read an alphabet where all characters looked alike!?! They must be distinguishable, each with their own sound or meaning.
The second common component in the five definitions of Character is ethical traits and moral...
I LOVE the definition of WISDOM as the soundness of act or decision based on good judgment, knowledge and experience. I love it because Wisdom is in MOTION through our actions and decisions. It's not just some bottled up concept that sits on a shelf. Wisdom doesn't just sit in the brains of our elders!
Want to make wise decisions and act wisely? Yep, Me too!
The definition tells us HOW to act and decide with Wisdom. We base them on good judgment, knowledge and experience. Okay, I bet you're thinking, "I have experience. I know stuff. And I have good judgment."
Are you wise?
Ah, that leads us to the last key word in the definition: Soundness. There it is. The qualifier. The component that separates wheat from chaff. Significance from Norm. Soundness.
Soundness is a high standard to meet. Webster dictionary says it is the ability to withstand force or stress without being...