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Archives ~ November 2012 Entries

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Let's Turn Black Friday into the Holiday Blues

Dr. Foster Mobley // Quotables

The day after Thanksgiving, hordes of shoppers trampled each other for cutthroat-priced holiday deals from the likes of Wal-Mart and Target. You might have been among those hordes. Retail experts call it Black Friday, but I call it Black-and-Blue Friday-because it leaves our bodies and our spirits bruised. What's the attraction of Black Friday? I doubt that most of us truly need all the carloads of cheap goods that we cart home, or frankly, the deep discounts for which we behave like lemmings. And, we certainly don't do it for a feeling of community; Black Friday sales are like hand-to-hand combat. I think it may be due to the headlong scramble for the latest and cheapest that gives us a brief high of competitive power in an age when we feel powerless. But that's a fleeting high that teaches us nothing. What if, for the remainder of this holiday season, you practiced and promoted turning the Black Friday mindlessness into the Holiday Blues? Psychologically, blue is the color of cool, peace, and introspection. More Americans spending the holiday season reflecting on their lives and families would impact our society in a far more positive way than a herd of shoppers overrunning a Best Buy. Want to feel blue with me?

The day after Thanksgiving, hordes of shoppers trampled each other for cutthroat-priced holiday deals from the likes of Wal-Mart and Target. You might have been among those hordes. Retail experts call it Black Friday, but I call it Black-and-Blue Friday-because it leaves our bodies and our spirits bruised.

What's the attraction of Black Friday? I doubt that most of us truly need all the carloads of cheap goods that we cart home, or frankly, the deep discounts for which we behave like lemmings. And, we certainly don't do it for a feeling of community; Black Friday sales are like hand-to-hand combat. I think it may be due to the headlong scramble for the latest and cheapest that gives us a brief high of competitive power in an age when we feel powerless. But that's a fleeting high that teaches us nothing.

What if, for the remainder of this holiday season, you practiced and promoted turning the Black Friday mindlessness into the Holiday Blues? Psychologically, blue is the color of cool, peace, and introspection. More Americans spending the holiday season reflecting on their lives and families would impact our society in a far more positive way than a herd of shoppers overrunning a Best Buy.

Want to feel blue with me?

11.26.12 1
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What's on your Gratitude List?

Dr. Foster Mobley // Quotables, Wisdom Leading

At Thanksgiving, if you are like millions of Americans, you'll sit down to feast with friends and family and talk about how thankful you are for all you have. But are you really grateful - that is, filled with gratitude? Gratitude is like motion; it's relative. It's difficult to gain true perspective on what you have without a keen awareness that someone else does not have it. This awareness, cultivated with what I call a Gratitude List, offers rare lessons of humility and understanding. Tomorrow morning, before you venture into the day, start creating a Gratitude List. Begin with the things that are easily taken for granted: I can walk. I can talk. I can see. I can read. I have enough to eat. Add your many true blessings to your list daily. How many things can you find to be grateful for? And, how do the lessons of humility and understanding gained from experiencing true gratitude affect how you lead others?

At Thanksgiving, if you are like millions of Americans, you'll sit down to feast with friends and family and talk about how thankful you are for all you have. But are you really grateful - that is, filled with gratitude?

Gratitude is like motion; it's relative. It's difficult to gain true perspective on what you have without a keen awareness that someone else does not have it. This awareness, cultivated with what I call a Gratitude List, offers rare lessons of humility and understanding.

Tomorrow morning, before you venture into the day, start creating a Gratitude List. Begin with the things that are easily taken for granted: I can walk. I can talk. I can see. I can read. I have enough to eat. Add your many true blessings to your list daily.

How many things can you find to be grateful for? And, how do the lessons of humility and understanding gained from experiencing true gratitude affect how you lead others?

11.19.12 0
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A Different Take on the Election

Dr. Foster Mobley // Education, History, Quotables, Wisdom Leading

Q: How have you seen hurdles turn into energy sources for change? In the wake of Tuesday night's election, there are as many potential lessons as there were electoral votes. One stands out for me, and it has nothing to do with politics: people are more motivated by passion than they are limited by difficult circumstances. In states like Florida, Ohio, New York and New Jersey, technical problems, confusing laws and the damage from Hurricane Sandy made voting an ordeal for millions of people. Given the supposed cynicism about politics these days, you would think that voters would stay away from the polls in droves. Instead, they waited in line for hours, deep into the night. In leading others to evoke peak performance, great leaders often work to help others eliminate obstacles and difficulties. You've heard me extol the importance of "removing boulders." At the same time, let's not forget that facing challenges can motivate people to overcome and exceed their limits like nothing else.

Q: How have you seen hurdles turn into energy sources for change?  

 In the wake of Tuesday night's election, there are as many potential lessons as there were electoral votes. One stands out for me, and it has nothing to do with politics: people are more motivated by passion than they are limited by difficult circumstances.

In states like Florida, Ohio, New York and New Jersey, technical problems, confusing laws and the damage from Hurricane Sandy made voting an ordeal for millions of people. Given the supposed cynicism about politics these days, you would think that voters would stay away from the polls in droves. Instead, they waited in line for hours, deep into the night.

In leading others to evoke peak performance, great leaders often work to help others eliminate obstacles and difficulties. You've heard me extol the importance of "removing boulders." At the same time, let's not forget that facing challenges can motivate people to overcome and exceed their limits like nothing else.

11.12.12 0
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Does "Agree to Disagree" Miss the Point?

Dr. Foster Mobley // Quotables, Wisdom Leading

Q: What do others' pronouncements tell you about their values, motivations and passions? What does your reaction to them tell about you? In this hyper-kinetic election season, it's likely you've been bombarded with opinions, delivered at shrill volume from the left and right. And because political views are embedded in our deeply held belief systems, discussions can turn into ugly rhetorical knife fights. When somebody across the table asks, "So, who are you voting for?" how you respond is as likely to raise blood pressures as it is to further dialogue. "Can't we just agree to disagree" is often the often the option with the least blood spilled. What if this is also a missed opportunity? What if, by listening to an opposing viewpoint without judgment, you can learn how others see the world? That insight is incredibly valuable to you, and them. Instead of dismissing them reflexively, try instead turning the conflicting ideas over in your mind to try to understand why those views matter to the other person. Great leaders open up the conversation to new ideas, breakthrough ones, not just mano y mano fights over existing beliefs.

Q: What do others' pronouncements tell you about their values, motivations and passions? What does your reaction to them tell about you?

In this hyper-kinetic election season, it's likely you've been bombarded with opinions, delivered at shrill volume from the left and right. And because political views are embedded in our deeply held belief systems, discussions can turn into ugly rhetorical knife fights. When somebody across the table asks, "So, who are you voting for?" how you respond is as likely to raise blood pressures as it is to further dialogue. "Can't we just agree to disagree" is often the option with the least blood spilled.

What if this is also a missed opportunity? What if, by listening to an opposing viewpoint without judgment, you can learn how others see the world? That insight is incredibly valuable to you, and them. Instead of dismissing them reflexively, try instead turning the conflicting ideas over in your mind to try to understand why those views matter to the other person. Great leaders open up the conversation to new ideas, breakthrough ones, not just mano y mano fights over existing beliefs.

11.5.12 0
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Dr. Foster Mobley

Trusted advisor and coach to admired executives globally for 3 decades, Thought leader on wisdom-based approaches to breakthrough leading, "Lead Coach" for Deloitte's experienced and high potential leader development, Team performance advisor to two NCAA championship teams