The Wisdom
Exchange

With Patrick Mosher

Spitting into the Ocean

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On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate HARMONY in the world right now?  1 = low.  10 = high. 

I've asked my friends, family and my Wisdom 4 Humanity community this question and most rate World Harmony pretty low right now.

There's so much going on!  No need to drag you down by listing them.  

My next question typically is, "So what are you doing to raise World Harmony?"

I asked a colleague.  Very conscious human being.  Socially responsible.  Acutely aware of what's happening in the world.

His heart is breaking.

"Where do I begin?  I’m overwhelmed.  Whatever I do won’t make a difference.  And I’m so busy with EVERYTHING I can’t do ANYTHING.  My To Do List is full.  One more thing will break me.  Just BREAK me."

I could feel a combination of tears mixed with anger bubbling up.

"Any action I take is small.  Too small to...

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A Fresh Perspective of Stress

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What words would you use to describe, STRESS?  

Awful.  Bad.  Get Rid of It.  Don't Want It.

Let me offer a different perspective.

Stressors CARVE you out of our comfort zone.

They SPRING you to act.

They make you REACH for something better.

They DRIVE you to success.

Stressors MOTIVATE you to improve yourself, your conditions and our world!

Does it feel like our world sees stress as a productive force?

Let's re-frame it.

I'm going to geek out here a bit and dive into a physics perspective on stress.

STRESS – a Restoring Force Inside an Object Resulting from an Externally Applied Force

This definition reveals two gems:

#1.  Stress is a force INSIDE an object

We talk about being stressed by situations or people.  According to science, this is not a true statement.  Stress is your REACTION to an outside force applied on you.  You have external forces applied on you all the...

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Convert Stress into Power

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Power

It has both positive and negative connotations, doesn't it?

POWER is defined as the capacity or ability to direct influence on the behavior of others. 

Power, then, is capacity or potential. 

I prefer physics' definition of POWER:  Work exerted over time.  In the scientific world, Power isn't potential, it's Active.  In the world.

Physics would define capacity to exert Power more accurately as Potential Energy.

Potential Energy is:

  • A Ball Dropping = Distance + Gravity
  • Hot Water = Temperature Gradients between Air and Water
  • A Coiled Spring = Elastic
  • An Inflated Balloon = Air Pressure

You see the ball, water, spring and balloon don't have potential energy until you do something to them.  You stress their comfortable environment.  Potential Energy builds when it wants to return to a more stable state, but it can't.

Isn't the same true for us?

We define Stressors as those things...

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Simple Elegant Solutions

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Last century I was a young Chemical Engineering Co-op student.  I got to do my first professional gig as a Chemical Engineering after just one year of Freshman Engineering curriculum under my belt.  Freshman Calculus, Chemistry, English.  Hardly qualified to do any real engineering work.  

Nonetheless, I travelled from my hometown of Cincinnati to Corning, New York.  Headquarters for Corning Glass Works. 

I was reminded over and over that I was Corning's first Co-op student.  A Talent Experiment for this small Chemical Engineering department which serviced all of Corning's locations and diverse products:  light bulbs, micro-sized medical products, lab benchtops, Corelle, Pyrex, resistors and capacitors for computers, Steuben fine crystal, optical wave fiber, on and on. 

I quickly got enthralled with the unique qualities of glass.  Did you know that glass is an...

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Your Best is Calling You!

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Please stop signing your letters and emails with     'Best'

Other forms include:

  • All the Best
  • Best Regards
  • Very Best

Why? 

Reserve "Best" for exactly that …. your Best. 

By the way, 'Very Best' is particularly troublesome.  If Best is indeed best, what does 'Very Best' mean?  Is there a category of Best which is less than Very Best?  I learned imaginary numbers in high school.  Perhaps this category of 'Best Less Than Very Best' lies in that realm.

How do you define Your Best?  Let's find out!

I'm working with Bo Eason, Storytelling Expert, Former NFL All Star, Broadway Playwright and Motivation Speaker.  He works with people to be their Best.  Working with him has made the word, Best, nearly sacred for me. 

Let's explore!

Best is defined as 'the most excellent, outstanding or desirable.' 

Best isn't just a high bar.  It's the...

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Are Your Team's Binoculars Locked Up? A Titanic Story

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It was a calm cold night with stars in the sky.  No moon.  Titanic was traveling at her full speed.  About 22.5 knots.  Titanic's lookouts in the crow's nest peered through the haze with their naked eyes to look for anything dangerous in their path. 

Imagine that.  They were squinting into the night.

Weren't the lookouts equipped with binoculars?

YES, they were.  In fact, there were binoculars IN the crow's nest storage locker. 

Well then, why weren't they using them?

The storage locker was locked and the key for that locker….

Wasn't aboard the Titanic!

The officer who had that precious key was re-assigned right before Titanic's launch.  He had the key in his pocket and forgot to turn it over.

Before you accuse anyone of 'negligence' ask yourself: 

Have you ever forgotten where your keys are?

Happens to me nearly every day.  Actually, I more often forget...

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37 Second Transition From World Class to Epic Disaster: A Titanic Story

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It was a calm cold night with stars in the sky.  No moon.  Titanic was traveling at her full speed.  About 22.5 knots.  Titanic's lookouts in the crow's nest peered through the haze to look for anything dangerous in their path. 

When they saw the iceberg, they rang the lookout bell three times and telephoned the bridge. 

"Iceberg, right ahead!"

In the next 37 seconds, the Titanic travelled 300 yards and ….

…collided with that mammoth iceberg.  11:40 PM on Sunday April 14, 1912. 

37 seconds separated 'Titanic' from meaning the epitome of modern shipbuilding and the essence of speed and elegance to our modern archetype of … Epic Disaster.

Just 37 seconds

How far out are you scanning your environment for dangerous icebergs that could come out of nowhere?  Your 'iceberg' could be a technology advancement that rocks your industry, a competitor's product...

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Full Steam Ahead

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Full Speed Ahead!

The last order the captain of the Titanic gave before he retired for the night. 

You've got a sturdy ship underfoot. In fact, THE most robust ship that modern shipbuilding has ever produced. 

The estimated distance from Queenstown (Cobh), Ireland to NYC is 2825 miles.  At a decent cruising speed, you can make the journey in 137 hours.

It's common practice to run ships at full steam at night.

It is a clear night with stars in the sky.  Calm water. 

Nothing out of the ordinary here. 

Oh yea….let her RUN!

And then….

Well, you know how this story ends.

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How often have you told your team:

Let's Do It.  Let's Go!  No Stopping Us Now!  We've Got This!

All great ways to stir up and motivate your team.  And most times, appropriate.

There are times, however, full speed ahead drives your right into a looming disaster.

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  1. My...
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Cutting Corners

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Cutting Corners

We all do it.  To make budget, we use cheaper materials.  We get by with sub-par software that barely meet our needs.  We jerry rig solutions.  And there's a craft to it.  Even an art.

It's awesome to figure out a dime solution for a dollar problem.

Alas, we're not talking about elegant solutions today.  

Today we're talking about Cutting Corners where we shouldn't.  It happens.  We pray the client doesn't notice.  We pray the solution holds together.  We hold our breath until that moment passes.

Whew…we escaped disaster!

And yet sometimes ….

Sigh.  Our nightmare unfolds before our eyes.

Cutting Corner disasters aren't usually gaping holes.  They usually begin with little gaps that add up. 

Titanic's rivets were 3 ¾ inches long with a shank diameter of 1 inch.  3 million of them held the Titanic together!

In...

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Unsinkable

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9 AM in New York City.  Standing in front of the large conference room with 24 executives.  Leaders of their 4 respective companies.  New York, LA, London and Singapore.  

Confident of my facilitation skills we dove in.

By Noon, I felt beat up.  Exhausted.  Grossly unprepared.

My supervisor said he would take over facilitating the meeting for the afternoon.

What happened?

The week before the meeting, my supervisor and my team kept asking with worried tones, 'Are we ready?'  

My response:  "Trust Me."  "I've got this."  "I'm a world class facilitator." 

Overconfidence.

I let my world class facilitation skills block my view of what we needed to succeed.  

Have you ever gotten so good at something, you slip into going through the motions?  

Most times this works.  We get used to success.  We prepare less.  And the fuse is lit.  It's only...

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