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Archives ~ December 2012 Entries

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New Year, Same Tired Promises

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

This time, every year we are bombarded with messages of new beginnings. With the new year we suddenly have access to new energy, new possibilities, new discipline, new physical condition, new financial success. With a simple turn of the calendar page. I love a good symbol like the next person, and seldom waste them. In the same breath, even wild-eyed optimists like me know the reality - if these exhortations were truly useful, we wouldn't need a reminder every single year. Living and leading from one's wisdom requires shedding ourselves of pretense -the belief or practice that assumes we, or the conditions we face, are different than they truly are. Shiny new year's promises are full of pretense: the belief that we're broken or incomplete and need dramatic transformation the belief that our lives will be better "...if only (insert your most enduring vulnerability)" the idea that what ends up on a goal page is somehow more powerful than what's happening in this moment Want this new year to be better than the last? Shed pretense and shift your thinking about how much your life needs fixing. Marianne Williamson reminds us, "We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world." "There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us." What would it make possible if you focus less on what's missing and more about being fully alive in this moment?

This time, every year we are bombarded with messages of new beginnings. With the new year we suddenly have access to new energy, new possibilities, new discipline, new physical condition, new financial success. With a simple turn of the calendar page.

I love a good symbol like the next person, and seldom waste them. In the same breath, even wild-eyed optimists like me know the reality - if these exhortations were truly useful, we wouldn't need a reminder every single year.

Living and leading from one's wisdom requires shedding ourselves of pretense -the belief or practice that assumes we, or the conditions we face, are different than they truly are. Shiny new year's promises are full of pretense:

  • the belief that we're broken or incomplete and need dramatic transformation
  • the belief that our lives will be better "...if only (insert your most enduring vulnerability)"
  • the idea that what ends up on a goal page is somehow more powerful than what's happening in this moment

Want this new year to be better than the last? Shed pretense and shift your thinking about how much your life needs fixing. Marianne Williamson reminds us,

"We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world."
"There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us."

What would it make possible if you focus less on what's missing and more about being fully alive in this moment?

 

 

12.31.12 1
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Children Believe. What Happens When We Don't?

Dr. Foster Mobley // Quotables

As millions of children breathlessly await the arrival of Santa Claus, parents are debatingthe pros and cons of letting the kids believe in Saint Nick. Some think we should tell the truth; they argue that teaching children to believe in things that can't be seen, heard or felt handicaps them later in life. I disagree. In fact, we big kids could stand to believe a little more in things unseen - things like trust, commitment, character, possibility. While a leader never serves by lowering standards, your belief in the unseen can encourage others' growth. That's inspiring. That's the kind of rare gift anyone would like to find under the tree. What's holding you back from believing in, and inspiring others to their full greatness?

As millions of children breathlessly await the arrival of Santa Claus, parents are debating the pros and cons of letting the kids believe in Saint Nick. Some think we should tell the truth; they argue that teaching children to believe in things that can't be seen, heard or felt handicaps them later in life.

I disagree. In fact, we big kids could stand to believe a little more in things unseen - things like trust, commitment, character, possibility. While a leader never serves by lowering standards, your belief in the unseen can encourage others' growth. That's inspiring. That's the kind of rare gift anyone would like to find under the tree.

What's holding you back from believing in, and inspiring others to their full greatness?

12.24.12 0
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How to Make Sense of the Incomprehensible?

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

Words cannot begin to express the horror and sadness from the incomprehensible December 14 shooting in Connecticut. There is no leadership insight or management strategy that will let grieving parents hug their lost children again. The best we can do is to figure out what this terrible event, and others like it can teach us. One lesson demanding attention from my head and heart the past few days is the importance of mindfulness. Mindfulness means being present in the moment, fully aware of the beauty and wonder that we so often call "ordinary." It means fully experiencing and expressing the love and gratitude we feel in any moment. I'm sure this tragedy caused millions of us to hold our our loved ones a little tighter that night and better appreciate the people who enrich our lives, like teachers, administrators, friends and neighbors. A mindful perspective won't often prevent tragedy. Yet, the knowledge that others know how much we cherish them is a powerful source of comfort. How mindful are you of the angels in your life?

Words cannot begin to express the horror and sadness from the incomprehensible December 14 shooting in Connecticut. There is no leadership insight or management strategy that will let grieving parents hug their lost children again. The best we can do is to figure out what this terrible event, and others like it can teach us.

One lesson demanding attention from my head and heart the past few days is the importance of mindfulness. Mindfulness means being present in the moment, fully aware of the beauty and wonder that we so often call "ordinary." It means fully experiencing and expressing the love and gratitude we feel in any moment. I'm sure this tragedy caused millions of us to hold our our loved ones a little tighter that night and better appreciate the people who enrich our lives, like teachers, administrators, friends and neighbors.

A mindful perspective won't often prevent tragedy. Yet, the knowledge that others know how much we cherish them is a powerful source of comfort.

How mindful are you of the angels in your life?

12.17.12 0
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What Does It Mean to Find Your Inner Child

Dr. Foster Mobley // Quotables, Wisdom Leading

It's hard to imagine yuletide without children sledding and building snowmen. And, observing kids in full-on joy mode reminds us of those same things in us that were once a part of our daily experience. In leadership development, we talk so much about finding your "inner child" it's gotten to be a cliché. But what does it mean to find your inner child? Here's what it means to me: Being more accepting. Children welcome everyone as sources of wonder. They aren't aware of differences in skin color, religion or politics until we make them aware. Finding the fun. We spend so much time working that we forget to play, and in doing so, we forget how revitalizing play can be. Being authentic. Children are who they are without self-consciousness. In an age when many forces have the potential to manipulate us, authenticity is a powerful asset for a leader. Being grateful. Children often throw aside the toy to play in the box it came in. They're grateful for the chance to use their imaginations. It's expected that we revel in these values - fun, acceptance, authenticity and gratitude - at this time of the year. What it would make possible for you, and your leadership, if these weren't just holiday values? What are you willing to do to bring out, and leave out your inner child?

It's hard to imagine yuletide without children sledding and building snowmen. And, observing kids in full-on joy mode reminds us of those same things in us that were once a part of our daily experience. In leadership development, we talk so much about finding your "inner child" it's gotten to be a cliché. But what does it mean to find your inner child? Here's what it means to me:

  • Being more accepting. Children welcome everyone as sources of wonder. They aren't aware of differences in skin color, religion or politics until we make them aware.
  • Finding the fun. We spend so much time working that we forget to play, and in doing so, we forget how revitalizing play can be.
  • Being authentic. Children are who they are without self-consciousness. In an age when many forces have the potential to manipulate us, authenticity is a powerful asset for a leader.
  • Being grateful. Children often throw aside the toy to play in the box it came in. They're grateful for the chance to use their imaginations.

It's expected that we revel in these values - fun, acceptance, authenticity and gratitude - at this time of the year. What it would make possible for you, and your leadership, if these weren't just holiday values?

What are you willing to do to bring out, and leave out your inner child?

12.10.12 0
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Singing the Powerball Blues: When $579 Million Isn't Enough

Dr. Foster Mobley // Sports, Wisdom Leading

Last week two ticket buyers, in Missouri and in Arizona, hit the biggest Powerball lottery jackpot ever, $579 million. That got me thinking about the often-negative effect that sudden wealth has on people's lives. University researchers have determined that people who win larger jackpots are more likely to wind up bankrupt than those who win small ones. And recent history is filled with accounts of lottery winners winding up in poverty, in prison, or committing suicide. You may have heard me say that winning makes people forgetful and stupid; apparently money has the same effect. Coming into sudden, unearned wealth appears to make some people abandon their core values. Let's say that you're a construction worker-hard-working, respected and dependable. Then, ZAP-a $100 million lightning bolt. Are you suddenly a financial planner, tax lawyer and international playboy? No. But if you try to act like you are, you're probably going to wind up in trouble. When success comes, it's more important-not less-that we stick to the essential qualities that define who we are, independent of that success. That's the only way to ensure that success will come around again. Are you grounded enough in who you are and what you stand for to declare your core essence "Not for Sale"?

Last week two ticket buyers, in Missouri and in Arizona, hit the biggest Powerball lottery jackpot ever, $579 million. That got me thinking about the often-negative effect that sudden wealth has on people's lives. University researchers have determined that people who win larger jackpots are more likely to wind up bankrupt than those who win small ones. And recent history is filled with accounts of lottery winners winding up in poverty, in prison, or committing suicide.

You may have heard me say that winning makes people forgetful and stupid; apparently money has the same effect. Coming into sudden, unearned wealth appears to make some people abandon their core values. Let's say that you're a construction worker-hard-working, respected and dependable. Then, ZAP-a $100 million lightning bolt. Are you suddenly a financial planner, tax lawyer and international playboy? No. But if you try to act like you are, you're probably going to wind up in trouble.

When success comes, it's more important-not less-that we stick to the essential qualities that define who we are, independent of that success. That's the only way to ensure that success will come around again.

Are you grounded enough in who you are and what you stand for to declare your core essence "Not for Sale"?

12.3.12 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