S2.E11: Managing Misadventure with Moose Mutlow

Managing Misadventure with Moose Mutlow

Can misadventure be turned into a positive experience? In this episode we are joined by Moose Mutlow who helps us to better understand what misadventure is, and how we can find value in it.

Moose has nearly forty years of experience as a guide, outdoor educator, and in Search and Rescue. He has worked around the world from the Kalahari Desert to the Florida Everglades, to Yosemite where he now lives. He is the author of two books and has extensive experience in family liaison and incident command.

Key Takeaways

Defining Misadventure: Misadventure is something that doesn’t go well but you can end up with a good story to tell afterwards.

Misadventure has a range: They can go from being funny stories of bad decisions to catastrophic disasters. It goes without saying that we are trying to avoid the latter as they can be very traumatic.

Story telling component: Both adventures and misadventures are defined by the stories that we can tell about them afterwards. Containable misadventures often have much more engaging stories to tell than adventures that go perfectly well.

Course correction: Being able to take a step back and look at the situation is often what stops things becoming an epic misadventure.

Taking a pause can help us to slow things down so that we can articulate the decision-making process effectively, instead of just getting caught reacting to situations. This can often lead to worse outcomes.

Reasons for misadventure: People underestimate the challenge and overestimate their ability and fail to plan and prepare ahead.

Keep people in the Challenge Zone: You have your best gains when you operate just outside your comfort zone. Taking people right the edge of the extreme is counterproductive and is rarely that beneficial. Instead, we should be trying to put people in what I call the challenge zone which is where we feel excitement, but we aren’t so overwhelmed that we develop tunnel vision and are gripped with stress.

Managing Misadventure: Realize when people are stressed, own mistakes that are made and draw attention to lessons learned along the way and try to keep it fun. Careful use of humour can be a useful tool on this last point.

Guest Bio

Moose Mutlow has nearly 4 decades of traditional and alternative education experience around the globe. He has course directed 58-day Outward Bound instructor trainings in Appalachia, been a deputy headmaster in the Kalahari Desert, managed a beach concession on the Mediterranean, slogged through Australian rain forests with middle school students, has more than 2000 days of field instruction in a wilderness setting, spent four months as the Interim Head for an elite ski academy, and returned to Outward Bound to instruct a canoe program for Veterans on the Gulf of Mexico.

Since 2002 Moose has been a member and senior trainer of Yosemite Search and Rescue, working as a technician and within Incident Command, at one of the busiest SAR operations in the world. 

Moose currently works for NatureBridge in Yosemite National Park as the Senior Projects Director for planning, design and construction of the National Environmental Science Center. 

Moose has written two books, Searching: Finding Purpose, Laughter & Distraction Through Search & Rescue and When Accidents Happen: Managing Crisis Communication as a Family Liaison Officer.

Guest Links

Moose Mutlow: www.moosemutlow.com

Searching: Finding Purpose, Laughter & Distraction Through Search & Rescue: Find it here

When Accidents Happen: Managing Crisis Communication as a Family Liaison Officer: Find it here

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