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Archives ~ March 2013 Entries

Your search for "all posts in March 2013" returned 4 results.

It's Fall in Tasmania

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

The globe is a fascinating thing. Consider the International Date Line, which makes it possible to fly over the Pacific Ocean from Tokyo to Los Angeles and arrive before you left (that's really something they should mention on the in-flight safety card).Consider also the "joy" of time zones which invisibly yet powerfully affect our energy and equilibrium. Finally, there's the equator. Right now it's the beginning of spring in North America. Flowers are budding, people are putting heavy coats into storage and summer is on the way. But south of the equator, the seasons flip-flop like a senator running for re-election. In the Southern Hemisphere, it's fall. In Sydney and Santiago, leaves are turning and the weather is getting cooler. My point? No matter how things are going for you, they're not the same for everyone. It's easy to sequester ourselves in our own little world of timelines and goals and forget that just across the hall, the season might be completely different. And this doesn't just apply between teams but within them: the leader's weather might be balmy June while two or three key people are buried in January blizzards due to family troubles, medical issues or just plain burnout. With awareness, we can act with empathy and wisdom. We don't assume that the solutions to our problems are the solutions to everybody's problems. What season is it in your organization?

The globe is a fascinating thing. Consider the International Date Line, which makes it possible to fly over the Pacific Ocean from Tokyo to Los Angeles and arrive before you left (that's really something they should mention on the in-flight safety card).Consider also the "joy" of time zones which invisibly yet powerfully affect our energy and equilibrium.

Finally, there's the equator. Right now it's the beginning of spring in North America. Flowers are budding, people are putting heavy coats into storage and summer is on the way. But south of the equator, the seasons flip-flop like a senator running for re-election. In the Southern Hemisphere, it's fall. In Sydney and Santiago, leaves are turning and the weather is getting cooler.

My point? No matter how things are going for you, they're not the same for everyone. It's easy to sequester ourselves in our own little world of timelines and goals and forget that just across the hall, the season might be completely different. And this doesn't just apply between teams but within them: the leader's weather might be balmy June while two or three key people are buried in January blizzards due to family troubles, medical issues or just plain burnout.

With awareness, we can act with empathy and wisdom. We don't assume that the solutions to our problems are the solutions to everybody's problems.

What season is it in your organization?

3.25.13 0
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Relearning the Fundamentals

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

Ah spring, a time when fly balls and pickoff throws fill the air! In Florida and Arizona, Major League Baseball clubs are going through the motions of spring training. Players are working on their batting eyes, limbering up their pitching arms, and repeating drills until their hands bleed, all with an eye to being ready for Opening Day. But why? Does anybody really believe these athletes need a refresher course year after year? After all, they work out year-round with personal trainers. They have video and computer swing analysis and advanced pitching metrics like WHIP, whatever that is. Are you going to tell me that, other than young kids trying to make the big club and old timers trying to hang on, that these guys need to spend six weeks in Scottsdale? So what's the reason for spring training? In part, I think it's to remind everyone that baseball is hard. Hitting a 95 mph fastball is the hardest task in sports, and throwing one is the runner-up. Spring training is, in part, about humility. A reminder that greatness is rare and that if we can do things that others can't, that's cause for gratitude, not boastfulness. In any organization, people are subject to complacency and resting on laurels. It's healthy, once in a while, to get a reminder that succeeding once is no guarantee that you'll succeed again. Staying on top means recognizing that the work of getting better never ends. What do you do to encourage humility in your people?

Ah spring, a time when fly balls and pickoff throws fill the air! In Florida and Arizona, Major League Baseball clubs are going through the motions of spring training. Players are working on their batting eyes, limbering up their pitching arms, and repeating drills until their hands bleed, all with an eye to being ready for Opening Day.

But why? Does anybody really believe these athletes need a refresher course year after year? After all, they work out year-round with personal trainers. They have video and computer swing analysis and advanced pitching metrics like WHIP, whatever that is. Are you going to tell me that, other than young kids trying to make the big club and old timers trying to hang on, that these guys need to spend six weeks in Scottsdale?

So what's the reason for spring training? In part, I think it's to remind everyone that baseball is hard. Hitting a 95 mph fastball is the hardest task in sports, and throwing one is the runner-up. Spring training is, in part, about humility. A reminder that greatness is rare and that if we can do things that others can't, that's cause for gratitude, not boastfulness.

In any organization, people are subject to complacency and resting on laurels. It's healthy, once in a while, to get a reminder that succeeding once is no guarantee that you'll succeed again. Staying on top means recognizing that the work of getting better never ends.

What do you do to encourage humility in your people?

3.18.13 0
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Gerrymandering Your Organization

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

It's no secret that Congress is dysfunctional. Its futility is a product of the polarization that comes from tampering with population center boundaries of to create favorable voter rolls-a process known as "gerrymandering." When you gerrymander a political district to populate it with more Republicans or Democrats, you're stocking it with folks who agree with you. That's great if you're trying to win an election. But it's terrible if you're starved for the kinds of honest, intelligent, dissenting views that expand perspective and increase wisdom. We gerrymander our organizations, too. I've seen companies stacked with people who laugh at the leaders' jokes and tell them only what they want to hear. Those are diseased organizations. Gerrymandering snuffs out candor, rigorous discourse and tough scrutiny of new ideas. If "steel sharpens steel," then visionary leaders should be seeking out people of robust intellects and varied backgrounds who disagree with them. The resulting metal-on-metal clashes will produce not only sparks, but light. Is your organization gerrymandered? What is the impact?

It's no secret that Congress is dysfunctional. Its futility is a product of the polarization that comes from tampering with population center boundaries of to create favorable voter rolls-a process known as "gerrymandering."

When you gerrymander a political district to populate it with more Republicans or Democrats, you're stocking it with folks who agree with you. That's great if you're trying to win an election. But it's terrible if you're starved for the kinds of honest, intelligent, dissenting views that expand perspective and increase wisdom.

We gerrymander our organizations, too. I've seen companies stacked with people who laugh at the leaders' jokes and tell them only what they want to hear. Those are diseased organizations. Gerrymandering snuffs out candor, rigorous discourse and tough scrutiny of new ideas.

If "steel sharpens steel," then visionary leaders should be seeking out people of robust intellects and varied backgrounds who disagree with them. The resulting metal-on-metal clashes will produce not only sparks, but light.

Is your organization gerrymandered? What is the impact?

3.11.13 0
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And the Oscar Goes To...

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

Last Sunday we engaged in that classically American ritual, the Academy Awards. Of the many endlessly interesting things about the Oscars, one stands out to me: the change in the phrase spoken by presenters before opening that fateful envelope.

For decades, the presenters would say, "And the winner is..." before the big reveal. But some years ago, the members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences decided that the phrase implied that everyone who didn't take home a statuette was a loser. That's why presenters now say, "And the Oscar goes to..."

We're dealing with adults, not kindergarteners. Why should this matter? In my upcoming new book, I spend a great deal of time discussing the redefinition of the concept of "winning" as it applies to team performance. The same question applies to the Oscars. Is the winner just the person who receives an award or reaches the highest sales figure?

To me, anyone who, through his or her performance, fulfills his or her full potential in a way that also inspires others is a winner. It might sound like I'm rewarding just showing up, but I'm not. I'm simply suggesting that excellence does not always result in a trophy or a banquet, but that doesn't make it less excellent.

What's the definition of winning in your organization?

3.4.13 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