Mos Maiorum

My boss and I are complementary personalities: he's big on structure, planning, and procedure; I prefer chaos, situations, and improvisation. So we respect one another and get along quite well. Recently he taught me a new term that I like: mos maiorum, Latin for "ancestral custom". It's literally the traditional set of principles of ancient Roman life, including the sequence of offices for a rising young star to work his way up through, the relationships among members of a family, and a host of other social patterns and interactions. My boss is striving to set up a mos maiorum collection of procedures at work, so we can get stuff done reliably and efficiently. I salute that, even though my style is more attuned to gliding along the rising air currents of the bureaucracy, turning and banking and spiraling in response to events as they occur. That works quite well — for me, most of the time, until I hit a sudden downdraft!

(cf. PlansAndSituations (1999-08-13), SituationalStrategy (2007-06-11), ...) - ^z - 2011-01-25