The Climb of Mount MotherF*****:The Uphill Battle in Organizational Development

We live in a world that’s permanent white water…. For those of us that work for a living, maintaining healthy work life balance is an uphill battle. We battle to survive within our personal and professional capsules. Three concepts must resonate in all of us in today’s day and age. Survive, Thrive and Drive. 

Screen Shot 2015-06-28 at 1.46.17 PMSURVIVE:

Organizations today are tightening. Job duties are no longer in neat little packages as they were before. Organizations are requiring higher education in order to create a smaller but more efficient workforce that is elite, lethal and highly trained. In order to make the cut and remain within the organization, the art of survival is key . Survival requires a constant state of awareness and critical thinking skills. Survival should be more than just a reactionary technique. Survival is needed to ride out the revolutionary phases of an organization. Please note that being a workaholic, technoholic or powerholic does NOT increase the odds of survival. These tactics will simply cause you to “lose oxygen” faster.


There is a catch. Staying in survival mode will stunt your contribution to organizational development. Individuals must be sure to observe their surroundings in order to know when to shift out of survival mode and contribute to the development of the organization. Contributing to the development of any type of organization lives on every level. To do nothing will lock you into survival mode. Why waste time in trying to survive when you could thrive and live outside of the war zone.


We have now moved out of the war zone and have done well in the tasks that we have been given. Unfortunately you cannot stop here as we need to remember that this battle takes place on a hill. If you stop moving forward you will roll backwards. Now it’s time to drive. Individuals can drive by innovating, creating, executing or leading (please do not confuse this with managing). Driving indicates that you have a direction that you wish to go. The great part of driving is that you are influencing the direction.

Mount Motherf***** is a giant hill located at the Marine training center at Camp Pendleton. With three feet of sand on its surface, the hill is so steep that, with a full pack, you are leaning so far forward to keep your momentum going that your nose is inches from the sand. And for every three steps forward, you slide one back in the sand. The name in itself is it’s unofficial term but the hardship in overcoming this obstacle is known to every Marine. It’s important to remember that this obstacle is presented at the worse possible time at the end of training where recruits are at their weakest point.

Action generates outcomes that ultimately provide the raw material for seeing something. Before action takes place, the meaning of any situation is essentially limitless. The situation could become anything whatsoever and, therefore, it is everything and nothing. The situation takes on distinct form and meaning only when action is inserted into it. When people examine the action they took, they see more clearly what the situation was and what it meant. By acting, often without the safety of knowing what the action will look like or amount to or come to mean, people learn something meaningful, even though what they learn may not be what they expected. – Peter B. Vaill

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