The Wisdom
Exchange

With Patrick Mosher

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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How to Obtain Emotional Freedom. It's Tricky.

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A friend of mine saw one of my recent posts:  "What emotional freedom do you have right now?"  

He asked, "Would love to hear your definition of emotional freedom and how to obtain it."

Great question!   Thank you!

Simply put, 

Emotional Freedom describes those moments when you can safely express your deepest emotions 

What is an Emotion?  

The University of California, Berkely published a study in 2017 identifying 28 discrete emotions.  As you read this list, think about a time you felt each of these emotions.  

  • Admiration
  • Adoration
  • Aesthetic Appreciation
  • Amusement
  • Anger
  • Annoyed
  • Anxiety
  • Awe
  • Awkwardness
  • Boredom
  • Calmness
  • Confusion
  • Craving
  • Disgust
  • Empathic Pain
  • Entrancement
  • Excitement
  • Fear
  • Horror
  • Interest
  • Joy
  • Nostalgia
  • Relief
  • Romance
  • Sadness
  • Satisfaction
  • Sexual Desire
  • Surprise 

If you are serious about unlocking your Emotional Freedom, read this list again, one by one, and...

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What I Lost in Ceremony on the Great Plains

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In 1995, I was on the prairie of South Dakota very near the badlands.  If you've ever traveled to the Great Plains, it is amazing.  When you look over the rolling hills, you can literally see so far you see the curvature of the Earth.

For 23 years, I participated in ancient ceremonies of the Plains people.  

3 days into the 1995 ceremony.  Sun high in the mid-afternoon.  Scorching hot.  114 degrees.  With the intensity of both the natural elements and the ceremony, I wondered how my life brought me to this moment.

So many things bound me to my past.  So much weight in the present moment.

What would it take to be free?

Expectations of what it meant to be successful.  Some self-imposed.  Some placed by well-meaning parents.  Some expectations met.  Some missed.  And there were those demeaning childhood roles of which my siblings constantly reminded me. ...

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Planting Seeds

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This past week I received a LinkedIn message, requesting a connection.  I get a lot of those, but this person sent me an accompanying message explaining WHY he wanted to connect.

Dear Patrick, hope you are well.  I am PhD student and fondly recall meeting with you during your visit on campus a few years ago.  I would love to remain connected.  

I remember having a brilliant conversation with you when I was in a dilemma and you introduced me to the concept of 'cognitive dissonance.'  I have benefitted from knowing that.  Thank you.

How did this simple LinkedIn Request lift my heart?

When I go back to my alma mater, Purdue, I schedule as many conversations with students as I can.  I figure if I say something wise maybe it'll lodge somewhere in their psyche or soul and a small change happens.  One small change and maybe their life trajectory changes by 1 degree.  I believe a...

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What to Pack for an Extraordinary Expedition

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The COVID19 Pandemic is an historical marker for this generation.  

For more than a year, we've been on a journey into an unknown territory with physical, psychological and even spiritual challenges.  We've been on a year-long(er) expedition.    

And expeditions have extraordinary goals.

Lewis and Clark began their expedition to explore the great unknown territory of the American West on May 14, 1804.  Their goal was to find a northwest passage to the Pacific Ocean.

Shackleton began his expedition to the South Pole on December 5th, 1914.  His goal was to cross the Antarctic continent from one coast to the other via the South Pole.  

One met the expedition goals.  The other did not.  And yet both expeditions gave us stories of extraordinary courage and leadership.  

If your goal of the COVID19 Pandemic Expedition was to return to status quo, to arrive where you started,...

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Personal Freedom and the Pursuit of Happiness

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"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

- Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776

244 years after the Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Second Continental Congress, here in the United States, we set aside an entire day to celebrate Freedom.

Freedom is the power or right to act, speak or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.

"Free at last!  Free at last.  Thank God almighty, we are free at last."  – Martin Luther King, I have a Dream Speech, 1963

What does it mean to be Free?  

Personal Freedom

I challenge my clients with this question: 

What are your minimum requirements for Personal Freedom?

With a puzzled look on their face, they usually ask:  

What do you mean by Personal Freedom?

...

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A Dab of Dad's Shining Wisdom

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My Dad wore a different pair of black wing-tipped shoes every day to work.  Five days a week.  On Sundays I sat on an orange shoeshine box and shined five pairs of shoes.  

He showed me how to dab a bit of polish onto the old sock.  Applying the polish to the shoe, pay particular attention to the toes which tend to get scuffed.  Take the laces off so you can polish the tongues.  Make sure to get the sides of the soles.  Don't leave any polish blotches.  Brush in a fast, swaying motion until the dull polish reveals a shine that glints in the light.  Put the laces back on so there's equal length on each side.

Five pairs of shoes.  10 shoes.  It took me FOREVER to shine those shoes.  

Dad gave me a dime for my work, but ONLY if the shine on each shoe met his quality standards.  

Sometimes I was too eager to get out to play and the job wasn't done to his...

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