WISDOM LEADING: The Conversation

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Archives ~ November 2011 Entries

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Measuring Wisdom

Dr. Foster Mobley // Quotables, Wisdom Leading

Q: Why is wisdom like good taste?† † Answer: Everybody agrees itís important, but nobody seems to know exactly what it is. I suspect thatís because no one has had the audacity and reckless disregard for conventional thinking to stick his neck out and define the concept. Well, audacity and reckless disregard are part of my job description, so here goes. Hold your hands a few inches apart, palms facing each other. Your left hand stimulusóan event, conversation or person that trips an emotional hair trigger in your mind. Your right hand is your response to this stimulus. Wisdom is the distance in time between the left hand and the right hand, between stimulus and response. In ineffective leaders this distance is often short because they tend to shoot from the hip and react with anger, panic or sarcasmónot what brings out breakthrough performance in people. Effective leaders increase the time between stimulus and response. Instead of lashing out, they stop. They breather. They consider and control their response. As a result, they are more capable of defusing negative situations and empowering others to be at their best.

Q: Why is wisdom like good taste? 
 
Answer: Everybody agrees it's important, but nobody seems to know exactly what it is. I suspect that's because no one has had the audacity and reckless disregard for conventional thinking to stick his neck out and define the concept. Well, audacity and reckless disregard are part of my job description, so here goes.


Hold your hands a few inches apart, palms facing each other. Your left hand stimulus-an event, conversation or person that trips an emotional hair trigger in your mind. Your right hand is your response to this stimulus. Wisdom is the distance in time between the left hand and the right hand, between stimulus and response.


In ineffective leaders this distance is often short because they tend to shoot from the hip and react with anger, panic or sarcasm-not what brings out breakthrough performance in people. Effective leaders increase the time between stimulus and response. Instead of lashing out, they stop. They breather. They consider and control their response. As a result, they are more capable of defusing negative situations and empowering others to be at their best.

How do you measure wisdom? How far apart are your hands? What could you do to expand that distance? 

 

 

11.28.11 0
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Being on the Cutting Edge Isn't Enough

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

Q: Is your wisdom helping you wield your cutting edge? Are knives good or bad? "Well," you may think, "that depends on who's using them." Indeed. A scalpel in the hand of a skilled surgeon is a wonder to behold. However, in the hands of a fool it is a colossal danger. We can think of the scalpel as representing intelligence. Made of our education, our skills, and even our talent, intelligence is a great competency to have. But, intelligence without wisdom can be dangerous. Your success is certainly due, in part, to your intelligence. But, we must seek to increase our wisdom as well. Knowing how to wield our intelligence makes it a truly useful tool, not a destructive one.

Q: Is your wisdom helping you wield your cutting edge?

Are knives good or bad?  
 
"Well," you may think, "that depends on who's using them."  Indeed.  A scalpel in the hand of a skilled surgeon is a wonder to behold.  However, in the hands of a fool it is a colossal danger.   
 
We can think of the scalpel as representing intelligence.  Made of our education, our skills, and even our talent, intelligence is a great competency to have.  But, intelligence without wisdom can be dangerous.  Your success is certainly due, in part, to your intelligence.  But, we must seek to increase our wisdom as well.  Knowing how to wield our intelligence makes it a truly useful tool, not a destructive one.
 

11.21.11 1
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It's Something in the Air

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

Q: Are you ready to leave the B.S. on the farm where it belongs? Can you smell leadership B.S.? Livestock farms are an important industry with honorable work. But, let's face it, they smell. And, it's not the wildflowers in the field. However, if you ask folks who work on a farm how they stand the smell they'll generally say, "What smell?" If an outsider sat in on meetings with your team would they be tempted to ask, "How can you stand all that B.S.?" Would you answer, "What B.S.?" In many industries the lack of authenticity present in leadership and teams has become so commonplace we're no longer able to smell it. Find a way to clear the air and take a deep breath assessment of your organization.

Q: Are you ready to leave the B.S. on the farm where it belongs?

Can you smell leadership B.S.?  
 
Livestock farms are an important industry with honorable work.  But, let's face it, they smell.  And, it's not the wildflowers in the field.  However, if you ask folks who work on a farm how they stand the smell they'll generally say, "What smell?"  
 
If an outsider sat in on meetings with your team would they be tempted to ask, "How can you stand all that B.S.?"  Would you answer, "What B.S.?"
 
In many industries the lack of authenticity present in leadership and teams has become so commonplace we're no longer able to smell it.  Find a way to clear the air and take a deep breath assessment of your organization.  

11.14.11 0
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Choice - The Powerful Act

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

Choice is one of the most powerful concepts for living and leading.  Choosing a path in life is fundamentally different, and more empowering than a life at the mercy of events.

To choose is to put your worldview in action. Consider that the act of expressing your choice as less an obligation and more a powerful act of living in a democracy.

Choose powerfully to express your highest aspirations and deepest values.
 

 

11.7.11 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