With Patrick Mosher
What comes to mind when you see the word, SIGNIFICANCE? Maybe you think of historical events. Or famous people. The relevant question is: Are you significant? In the world? On your job? With your family? Significance is a big word and it has so many meanings. Ready to explore?
I've known Becky for 25 years. A treasured friend. We were in the café and I was telling her about my new offering which used the words, Success and Significance. She wrinkled her nose. "Not a fan of the word, 'significance.' We live in a world where we strive for more more more. Significance is overwhelming. And crushing. No … significance just feels like more pressure."
Well, that didn't go how I imagined.
Significance and Statistics
Not many people know I'm an analytic geek. When I was in my PhD program in Organization Behavior, I would go to the bookstore and buy graduate level...
I pulled up in front of the house to pick up my daughters from their Mom's. I let out a big sigh. Transition time. It was a tough week in my consulting job: tough decisions, long hours and clients in 2 cities. The 6-hour drive itself is mostly white-knuckled, watching for deer darting out of the woods at any moment. I'm REALLY bushed. But it's time to level up the energy for my daughters. Yes, they expect a full, active day. I get ready for my 11 and 13-year old -- both at that brink between girl and young women.
I pause and look up at the door of the house. It's time. I get out of the car and walk around to the sidewalk. My youngest BURSTS through the front door, skips down the stairs and runs down the front path. She meets me at the sidewalk and throws her arms around me and squeals, "Daddy!!!" I smile and somehow I know deep in my soul that this is the Last Time I'll get this unsolicited,...
We began this board retreat in an unusual way. We walked a labyrinth. Simply put, a labyrinth is not a maze. It’s structure that has one way in and one way out so you can let go of wondering what’s next and just settle into your meditation, your intent. For more information about labyrinths, go to www.Veriditas.org
In facilitating this board retreat, I wanted to make it very connecting, valuable. My intention for walking the labyrinth was for the board to collaborate extraordinarily well this weekend. A simple intention.
Wisdom Messages from the Labyrinth
As I stepped onto the labyrinth, my head was filled with the retreat agenda. The dynamics of the team. The necessity to blend the personal styles of board and team members. How to navigate the flow of the two days. But the business and busyness in my brain slowly melted away with each step. I began to notice the snow on the trees outside...
"Is that your final answer?"
Have you ever wanted to use that line in an important meeting? I have. Many Times. In my 30-year consulting career, we get to a place where we want the client to make the final decision. Because they want to make an informed decision, we've gathered information. We've analyzed the data. We've interviewed the experts. We've researched the leading practices. Here we go….and … Nope. Another area to study or another person to talk to. I can't blame them. Not only is this project at stake, but their reputation is on the line. Heck, their career hung in balance based on this one Big Decision.
Making Rational Decisions
From the very start of my consulting career, I was enamored with how people, groups and organizations make decisions. You'd think they rely mostly on a rational decision-making model.
Step 1: State Decision
Step 2. Develop...
I often reflect on the words we use. The more conscious we are about our words and their underlying meanings, maybe we can get more in touch with how we feel about things.
I'm sitting in a cafe in the Old Town of Stockholm....in wonder of the bustle around me. I feel blessed with the freedom and privilege I have to observe and learn. Yes, I retired a couple years back, but I'm fond of calling it my 'next chapter' because I never really feel 'retired.'
What is Retirement, anyway?
Decades ago, I had a project in Chicago and my aunt and uncle invited me to stay with them. It was a welcome change from hotel and Food-to-Go. One morning, as I was preparing to go to my project, my Uncle Matt was sitting in the front room. He had retired a couple years back. I had always felt a sense of peace around my Uncle Matt, like nothing could shake his gentle demeanor. But there he was, sitting in the living room. No apparent agenda. No To...
At the end of every Boy Scout camp weekend, the leaders would line us up in a row at the edge of our campground. We would march forward, picking up any items or litter left behind. I remember picking up gum wrappers and stuff that was there before we arrived. Why in the WORLD, do we need to pick up something we didn't even drop? One of our leaders responded, "We leave things better than we found them."
My first lesson in Stewardship.
In what areas do you leave better than you found them? How do you lean into your stewardship? In your home? At the office? With your kids?
When I was a consultant, I remember walking through the office area with my client, the Vice President of Customer Service of a Fortune 500 company. We were walking to our meeting, discussing how to navigate through some tough decisions – an entourage of 3-4 people following us through the cubicle area. He stopped abruptly and picks up a gum wrapper...
Our life is full of 'First Times.' From the moment we're born until that day we die, we face the first time we do things. Brainstorm five special moments in your life that are marked in your memory as a 'First Time.' Write them down.
I hope most of those five 'First Times' were delightful, but I'm sure some could be tough.
What makes a First Time so memorable? Did the experience flood your senses? You could be told that EVERY human being experienced that moment from all millennia, but it doesn't matter. No one experienced it as YOU did.
Let me tell you a simple story of one of my 'First Times.' Follow along as you may remember yours.
I studied HARD for the written test. I must've pored over that handbook 53 times. I was an exceptionally good student. I ACED the test. Now it was time. The First Time behind the wheel of our family car. A dark blue AMC Sportabout....
Imagine a beautiful Spring day. Feel the gentle wind blow through your hair. Smell fresh scents of blooming flowers. Each tree carries a shade of green -- unique to itself. You can hear the symphonic melodies of birds rejoicing. Spring is here.
You imagine those moments and a smile spreads across your face. Why? Perhaps in those moments, you feel FREE! We strive for that freedom every day. Time Freedom. Financial Freedom. Personal Freedom. Spiritual Freedom. In fact, we strive and courageously face difficulties in our journey. Sometimes we insist to learn the hard way. Why do we persist and endure hardships? Perhaps it's so we can gather moments of FREEDOM like pearls on a string.
Let me turn the table around. Are you a teacher? A consultant? A healer? What about a coach, team lead, speaker? A parent or grandparent? Yes, every day, each of...
Have you ever noticed when you get in an elevator, strangers optimize space between them. You get in, press your number and step to the back corner of the elevator. Next person gets in, hits their number and steps to the back opposite corner. As more people enter, space is optimized by people standing as far away as possible from each other. Knowing this is the norm of human behavior, sometimes, I shake it up. I'll get in, push my button and stand dead center in the elevator. It's fun to see what happens next! Ah, Patrick the Disruptor!
In the field of Nonverbal Communication, the study of space is called Proxemics. When I took my graduate course in nonverbal communication, I was fascinated by … well … EVERYTHING! One HUGE takeaway from that course was an acute awareness about space.
Our use of space fills two opposing human needs: Affiliation or Privacy.
If we seek...
Feeling like you don't know where you're going? Your future looks unclear. Every day you take steps, but maybe you're not sure if you're going forward, backward, sideways or upside down! Cheshire cat from Alice in Wonderland says, “If you don't know where you want to go, then it doesn't matter which path you take." Aaargh! If you're feeling frustrated about your path, you CARE and it MATTERS which way you go, right?!?
It's SO IMPORTANT to have purpose or mission or goal. What is yours? Look beyond that promotion or raise or that next milestone on your project. What is your Big Life Goal? What is the legacy you want to leave? What is your Life Gift?
Maybe you want to create a movement to empower the disempowered. Maybe you want to stop bullying. Maybe you want to raise your children with solid and unique character. Whatever your mission or purpose, clarity provides a compass for life.