With Patrick Mosher
I was standing in front of the room with over 60 seminar participants' eyes on me. I had just given my 45-minute presentation on Organization Strategy and Design and a participant asked me this,
"Given your expertise in designing organizations, what do you believe is the most effective organization structure?"
I stepped back and took a deep breath and dropped my head.
I knew the answer but wasn't sure I wanted to say it aloud.
He was looking for a typical textbook answer like functional organization, product-centric, customer-centric structures. Or maybe even the consultant's favorite answer to that type of question,
I looked up. Made eye contact with as many people as I could and my eyes came back to the man standing midway back in the center aisle.
There was an audible gasp.
I carefully expounded. Think about YOUR team or organization. How does your team effectiveness measure up using these criteria?...
I live in Minneapolis Minnesota. In the last two months, my hometown became the epicenter of international attention on the Black Lives Matter movement. When I say this movement hit close to home, I mean literally. My friend, his wife and two sons went to bed to the smell of tear gas in their apartment. Our community has been rocked with protests. Been showered with random acts of kindness. 111 people shot and 7 people murdered since May 25. Beautiful murals painted. A mixture of kindness and outrage!
Our city is boiling. Moving.
Fed up with my own apathy, I reached out to 5 friends. People of Color. Black.
I asked them what we can do as allies to fight for racial equality and justice.
Their answers were respectful and direct. One said she considered not responding to me just so I could feel better about myself. Pause.
Yes, that truth hurt.
In one form or another,...
I was standing at the end of the conference room. Four professors staring at me from around the conference table. Defending my Masters' thesis. Orals Defense. One professor just asked a question about a body of literature in Leadership which I did not include in my thesis. In that exact moment, I realized I had a gaping conceptual hole you could drive a truck through.
This is the moment I feared when I walked into the room 35 minutes ago, shaking their hands with my clammy palms.
I didn't know when, who, what or how it would come up. I prayed it wouldn't happen. Somehow I knew it would happen. As I walked into the room, I imagined this moment was tortuously designed to evoke exactly this specific fear.
I was stumped.
More on that story later…
Fear is one of my least favorite topics. I have two core philosophies regarding Fear:
COVID-19. Pandemic. Ventilators. Social Distancing. Coronavirus Tests. George Floyd. Riots. Police Brutality. Racial Injustice. Political Divide.
Are you screaming, MAKE IT STOP?!
This is … The Attention Economy!
Grab your attention and your time follows.
The most precious resource you have from cradle to grave is your TIME.
Precious Time. More precious than gold, silver, diamonds, uranium, or even astatine (look it up). Yes, even more precious than a yet-to-exist flu vaccine!
We passively sit back on our couches or on our smartphones and let computer-generated algorithms grab our attention.
Media conglomerates use "Breaking News." Fortune 500 and Entrepreneurs use "Pain Marketing." Politicians use "Mudslinging," Rip the other guy to shreds so you don't have to address the real issues. We watch debates to see who drops the most memorable...
A friend of mine recently sent me a text asking for my opinion about Quaker Oats removing Aunt Jemima from their product line. She shared an article with me which was most insightful:
The world knew her as "Aunt Jemima," but her given name was Nancy Green and she was a true American success story. Born a slave in 1834 Montgomery County, KY, she became a wealthy superstar in the advertising world, as its first living trademark.
While in Kentucky, Green was employed by Charles Walker, then an attorney and later a distinguished Circuit Judge. She moved with the family to Chicago just after the Great Fire in 1872.
Walker heard that a friend was looking for a model for the Aunt Jemima character, and he suggested Green who, by that time, had served the family for many years. She was instantly recognized with the characteristics the guy was looking for... charisma, humor, and a fantastic cook.
Green was 56-yrs old when she was selected as spokesperson for the new...
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,...
Enough is enough!
I am outraged and saddened by what happened here in my hometown of Minneapolis. I didn't know what to do. As a white male, I don't know what it's like to be a person of color in America. My first action was to talk to 5 friends of color and ask for their perspective. There were no simple answers. I was given an incredible list of references. I was asked to participate in a solution. Take one next best action of integrity … and trust the next best action will reveal itself.
This declaration is my next best action of integrity.
Here in the United States, the Preamble for our Declaration of Independence reads
We the people of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish the Constitution of the United States...
I recently had a conversation with a colleague. She is a medical professional. We chatted philosophically about the relative importance of Nutrition, Hydration and Breathing. She simply asked 3 questions:
"How long can you do without food?"
I responded, "I don't know. Hunger strikes can go on for over a month. Let's say 40 days."
"Okay. How long can you go without water?"
I responded, "In ceremony I've gone without water for 4 days."
"Okay. How long can you hold your breath?"
I responded, "In less than 4 minutes, I would turn blue."
Breathing is essential to our health and we typically never talk about it as the cornerstone of life.
How long can you hold your breath?
Me? 4 minutes.
What would 8 minutes feel like?
Take a deep breath where you release the tension in your stomach and let the breath drop into your gut like a balloon filling with water. Release the tension in your shoulders too.
What is Harmony?
In music, harmony are notes played or sung with the main tune that make the piece more complicated and interesting.
One evening, one of my dorm-mates, Ken, invited me to read a passage in a book. The passage was about a traveler on a magical journey. What I remember, though, was him playing guitar to create ambience for my reading.
Have you ever heard a harmonic note played on a guitar?
I finished reading the passage and wanted him to continue playing. I sat absolutely still. Closed my eyes and got delightfully lost in the journey with him.
That was over 40 years ago. I can still close my eyes and remember that magical moment when I was introduced to guitar harmonics.
I want to share that moment with you, so here's my invitation…
Give yourself a moment. Get your headphones. Sit back. Take a deep breath and take a short journey to last a lifetime.
Think of a big challenge in your life where you succeeded.
Did you endure a long-term challenge OR did you break through an intense challenge?
A big challenge in my early adult life was graduating with my Chemical Engineering (ChemE) Bachelor's degree. I loved Chemistry, but physics and calculus remained Greek to me.
Yes, my bachelor's took five years. I couldn't pay for college, so I entered a Co-op program, alternating between a junior ChemE job and school every other semester.
For most of those five years, the 16-week semester included a physics or calculus class. I hated those classes. On Day 1, I would look up the mountain and a passing grade was somewhere way beyond the cloud cover.
You know the feeling, right?
In the end, you endured and/or broke through the intensity …. and you won.
You tapped into something deep within yourself. You achieved success because...