With Patrick Mosher
On our Holiday call with my oldest daughter, our conversation drifted to the challenges she faces in her consulting job. She works with people all over the country and literally the world. She is quite familiar with the consulting lifestyle I had for over 30 years. Travel. Imagine, you and your team traveling every week to deliver strategic solutions to clients.
Clients' confidence was bolstered by seeing the team on site. Somewhere they knew that personal sacrifices were being made on their behalf.
Travel showed commitment.
That all changed with the Pandemic.
As much as my daughter loves staying at home, the pandemic creates a HUGE challenge for her and her team.
How do you generate cohesion when you lead a virtual team?
No team dinners. No project kickoff. No milestone celebration parties. No walking down the hall to give an encouraging word to a team...
This is a great time for your End of Year Clearance. Start the new year FRESH and RENEWED!
With so much time at home this past year, we cleaned house. Then we cleaned the garage. Then we cleaned the yard. Then we went back to cleaning the house and continued the cycle.
We created "Get Rid Of" piles in the basement and garage. As months of self-quarantine continue, the piles grow. We're slimming down more and more.
It's a beautiful feeling….to unburden from stuff. Energy is released.
What should go into your End of Year Clearance pile?
In the beginning, the pile included easy stuff to get rid of. A computer desk we no longer use. Old cameras, Tivo machines and other technology from the 1990's. Isn't an antique defined as something aged 20 years or more?
The next level of 'stuff' was harder. These things have memory, history, even identity wrapped...
"I don't wanna"
"I'm too tired."
I heard myself whine because my fingertips were cold in this Minnesota winter
Feel the resistance rising? See it in others around you?
I thought about the root word of my mantra, "Live 100% Empowered."
What is Power anyway?
Science defines Power as the amount of energy transferred per unit of time. Makes sense right? When you empower your team, you transfer energy to them, carrying them for a certain period of time. You inject more energy along the way to sustain them.
As I walked in the woods in the Minnesota December cold, I got thinking. What is nature's version of Power? What better model than ….
a lightning strike!
Ever see a lightning strike go from cloud to ground?
I have. Summertime on Pine Ridge reservation. Fierce storm raging. Rain relentlessly pelting my tent....
At the end of every year, I start my annual planning process by reviewing the past year to make a list of accomplishments. High Performers don't often celebrate accomplishments on a day-to-day or week-to-week basis. They knock down barriers and move on to the next challenge. I'm no exception.
Best to begin a forward-looking planning process with Gratitude in your heart, wouldn't you say?
Wisdom 4 Humanity Challenge #1: Make a List of Accomplishments for the Past Year
As a consultant for over 30 years, my annual list of accomplishments usually included hard-won successes on my clients' most strategic transformation projects. That lifestyle included working with amazing teams and traveling to interesting and exotic places all over the world. Turkey, South Africa, Peru, Dublin, Venezuela, Singapore, Paris, Dubai and Winnipeg.
Due to the pandemic, this year was very different.
As we approach the end of the year, let's CELEBRATE!
It's been a challenging year, but surely you can find SOMETHING to celebrate.
I propose a slightly different way to celebrate. Let's start with a story.
When I was fourteen, I reached the pinnacle of Boy Scouts by achieving the rank of Eagle Scout. I worked hard on passing the requirements and accumulating the necessary merit badges. I achieved each level from Scout to Tenderfoot to Second Class to First Class to Star to Life to Eagle as fast as possible. I soared to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout.
But this story isn't about me and my success.
You see, to achieve that highest rank, my Mom played an integral part. She encouraged and supported me. She drove me to merit badge counselors homes and waited as I was tested for knowledge and skills. She drive me to Boy Scout meetings, Patrol meetings and camping trips....
At least once every month, I drive 70 miles and spend a day in the woods. Why drive so far? 70 miles each way requires a full day. And it gives me time to play loud music and think. Reflect on life. Be with me!
When I get to the woods, I usually take a walk and make a fire. Some days I do ceremony.
The fire feels good. A little warmth to complement the fresh Fall air. As I sit in the woods by my fire, I imagine this place 200 years ago. My mind drifts to an elder whom we called, Unci (oon-che), which means 'Grandma' in Lakota. Grandma taught us A LOT about prayer and life.
A serenity envelopes me. I'm by myself, but hardly alone. Bear Creek gurgles a few feet away. Honking geese make their way south. My nearby fire crackles and pops.
When I'm in the woods, I slow way down. I sink into the joy of doing...
New terms are popping up in our language: Pandemic Fatigue, COVID Fatigue, Zoom Fatigue
Fatigue is defined as 'a temporary loss of power induced by continued stimulation.'
At a staff meeting, a manager reported the loss of a contract due to the client's "Fee Fatigue." The client simply got tired of paying. The partner in the room got red-faced, was mad and burst, "There is no such thing as Fee Fatigue! It means the Perceived Value dipped below Fees Paid." I always worked hard in my career to avoid fee fatigue by continually driving VALUE!
Combat Fatigue by Lifting VALUE.
Let's use the same strategy to fight Zoom Fatigue.
Videoconference calls such as Zoom, Teams, Skype, Google Hangouts, Cisco Webex, GoTo Meeting, are the New Normal. So let's just lift the Perceived Value over the cost by introducing a little fun!
Here's my challenge for you: start your next meeting with...
The United States held our election last week. We chose who will lead us. As the world watched, Americans cast their ballots. More votes were cast in this election than ever before. In fact, the losing candidate received 12.5% more votes in this election than the winner in our last election (votes still being counted)!
Yea, I know. Collective decisions don't always go our way. We get mad, stomp around and pout in destructive ways only adults know how. Living with decisions that don't go our way can freeze us.
Then magic happens.
As humans, we have a powerful tool.
We ADAPT … FAST.
In fact, we ADAPT faster than any other species on the planet.
The way I see it, there is no winning or losing, especially in this election. Only ADAPTATION.
The word ADAPT comes from Latin, meaning "to join fitted."
It is time for us to JOIN...
Here in the United States, we enter Election Week. We choose a new administration. As the world watches, Americans cast their ballots. National and local campaigns rage as we watch messages that divide us and mudslinging where everyone feels a little dirty.
And through all this, why am I celebrating?
I celebrate freedom to choose the next leader of our country. I may like or dislike the outcome of the election, but I revel that I have choice.
And that's really something, isn't it?
Choice frees us….and choice binds us.
Decisions that don't go our way can freeze us like a tongue on a frozen flagpole. Decisions that don't go our way can feel like we're being held back from what we need. And I suppose they do.
And yet, I celebrate freedom.
I have more freedom today than my father, a World War II vet and more than my grandfathers whom both fought in the trenches...
I have a goal every week to process my emails down to one screen. I track my success on a spreadsheet which I mark as Red, Yellow, Green. Happy to say I am GREEN every week.
Woo HOO! Here's what I do.
That's it. There is no Step 4! That's the problem! I rarely go back to the eMails requiring my attention!
Delayed Decisions Don't Get Done!
Want to know how I plow through Piles of Parked Priorities?
In the 1990's there was a craze that took the corporate world by storm called Re-engineering. As an engineer and consultant, I dove deep into the concepts and integrated many...