The Wisdom

With Patrick Mosher

Alive at 55

You may think this piece is about life after turning 55.  I have a great story of turning 50, but that story is for another time.

This story begins in Cuzco, Peru.  A few years ago, I had a magical 'pull' to conduct an event in the sacred mountains of Machu Picchu.  I conducted a dry run of the event because of the exotic location.  So, my team and I took off for Machu Picchu, flying through Lima and staging in Cuzco Peru.

When I landed in Cuzco, I felt a little 'off.'  It was like having a mild case of sunstroke.  A little confusion.  Head a little blurry.  Altitude.  Cuzco is at about 11,000 feet.  I slept well that first night, but woke in the morning still dizzy.  I was downing coco tea, a local remedy for altitude sickness.  Due to my Cardiac Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), I carry a small oximeter which measures my oxygen levels.  Oximeter read 64%.  For people without lung problems, typical readings...

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Live Into Your Time

I took a walk in the woods.  Listened to the geese honking noisily overhead.  Breathed air deep into my lungs.  Felt the Fall leaves crunch under my feet.  Even two nearby dogs incessant barking were beautiful pieces in my reverie. 

We give our time to our jobs, our children, our spouses.  We serve generously.  After all, we are giving beings.

Isn't it interesting that we give time, but if we want time for ourselves, we have to take it.  Taking time feels like we're stealing it.  HEY WAIT A MINUTE!   Wasn't it our time to begin with? 

When do you live at your pace? 

My next story is controversial.

Early in my career, we proposed on a huge training design and development project.  The client wanted us to bid on the training delivery as well.  To deliver training, we would send our high-priced consultants to each of the 300 stores across the US.  Sounds good, but our price would put us in the...

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Avoiding Failure

I was talking to a Senior at my alma mater, Purdue, recently.  He was graduating with a four-year graphic design degree.  Wow!  Think of the hard work.  The many classes.  Drawings.  Computer Programs.  Tests.  Projects.  4 years of hard work.

"What do you want to do when you graduate."

His answer surprised me.

"I'm not sure I'm qualified to take a full-time job so I'm thinking I'll take a part-time job to learn what I need to do a good job."

I looked at him.  Stunned.  Here's a young man who has worked hard for 4 years and doesn't have the confidence to put his hard work into practice.  I guess he's suffering from the "Not Good Enough" syndrome.  Ever caught that dis-ease?

I launched into my story from my Bachelor's Degree in Chemical Engineering and how I had seen many failures along the way.  One particular one sticks with me today.  You see, I flunked second semester Organic Chemistry in my second...

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Are You Action Oriented?

"Let's Go. Go. Go!!"      "Where are we going?"

My 4-year old nephew.  So full of life.  Boundless energy.  Always seeking the next big adventure.  His life is one discovery after another.

I was also taken aback by his exclamation.  Our lives are full of activity, but do we fill our lives with Action?  Do we know where we're going? 

Webster defines Action as the accomplishment of a thing.  And Success is the accomplishment of an Aim or Goal.

Action is different than Activity.  Action moves towards your goal.  It's your journey to achieve what you want …. your success! 

Sit back for a moment and think about what you want to accomplish today.  Write it down.  What Action do you need to take today to accomplish that thing?  Voila!  You have today's Action Plan!  Today's Success is within reach!

Now let's hone this a bit.  Any activity not aligned with accomplishing the...

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How Do You Acquire Wisdom?

Uncategorized Oct 01, 2019

The definition of Wisdom is the soundness of act or decision based on knowledge, experience and good judgment.  I LOVE this definition.  Why?  It tells you exactly how to acquire Wisdom!

Interested in making WISER decisions?  Let's focus on KNOWLEDGE.

Tom Peters, a prolific business writer of the 80's and 90's, gave us a provocative way to describe the Information Age.  First there was Data.  We built systems to store and transfer it.  Then came Information.  We elevated the importance of information to the C-suite with, Chief Information Officer.  Then, we included people.  When a person stores or transfers information and applies it, we have KNOWLEDGE!  We entered the Age of the Knowledge Worker.  Through social networking studies, we found key knowledge nodes in organizations – people who generated tremendous value with the sheer knowledge (and experience) they accumulated. 

Knowledge workers work smart. ...

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You Don't Like Me

I was working on a project in Canada.  My client counterpart was fabulous.  She knew her people.  She was incredibly supportive about the capability we were building in her organization and was overjoyed about the skills this initiative would build in her people. 

About six months into the project, our relationship began to erode.  She delegated important decisions to her direct reports.  She stopped showing up for meetings.  To keep the project rolling, I went around and above her to get decisions made.  And eventually, she avoided contact with me altogether.  I couldn't figure it out.  Things were getting ugly.

I went to the partner in charge of the project for advice. 

Virginia wasn't high on the EQ scale.  In fact, she bemoaned her lack of people skills.  Introvert and driven, she delivered hard messages somewhat …. Indelicately.

And yet, she gave me perhaps the BEST people advice I'd ever received in my...

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Organization Shaman

When I was a Chemical Engineering Coop student at Corning Glass Works, I was assigned to a project in Medford Massachusetts.  The problem:  micron-sized holes etched into teeny tiny beads were not uniform.  These beads hold substrate used to test blood for disease.  Don't sweat, I'm not going to talk about the science of Radio-Immuno Assays (RIA).

There was a man named Blackie.

I needed to test samples of glass pellets in a HUGE oven, an industrial sized oven.  The inside of the oven is probably the volume of your kitchen.  Yea, that's one BIG oven!  The only non-production oven that size was "on the hill" in our Research & Development Center.  The only way access that oven was to review your plans with…Blackie.

Blackie had a reputation.  He had been in the industry for over 20 years….or was it 200 years?  I can't remember.  Anyway, the guy was ancient to this 21 year-old.  If you didn't have your...

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Choosing Fear or Freedom

Have you ever woken up and remembered your dream?  I did this morning.  My dream was both unnerving and satisfying.  I don't remember a lot of the details and as the day unfolds, I'm forgetting more and more.  It's a fascinating journey to record your dreams.  You might want to keep a dream journal on your nightstand!

 In this dream, I was in prison.  I was talking to another inmate, consoling him.  I remember clearly that I woke up with a sense of serenity.  Almost happiness. 

 That's weird, right?

 My Dream Coach often said remembering your dreams is a gift from your subconsciousness to your consciousness.  We often remember images, but feelings are as important to remember from our dream as the images. 

 I could go all over the place with interpreting the prison part of my dream.  Feelings of overwhelm, stress, not living fully into my purpose, daily pressures I put on myself to get stuff done,...

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YOU are a Conduit for Wisdom

Paul's wife, Eva, called with bad news.  Her mother's health took a turn for the worse.  For the rest of the day, our conversation focused on family, parents, children and grandchildren.  We talked about our responsibilities as good sons, as good parents.  

My fondest memories of growing up in Chicago are watching Saturday night horse races with my grandmother and Aunt Marie.  Dad built onto our house so they could stay with us.  When my maternal grandmother, Mims, was ill, she stayed at our house in Cincinnati.  In both instances, I was too young to understand how my mom and dad felt about their parents staying with us.  One thing I know for sure, though, is that taking care of their parents was just what they did. 

Too often I hear stories about old folks being a burden on society.  When did we adopt a mindset that our parents are a burden?  Gee, when you were 2 years old, do you think you were a self-sufficient being? ...

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Cool Confidence

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: 

  • Shoot-from-the-Hip Action, firing at anything that stands
  • Cool Confidence, leading calmly through the fire

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...

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