WISDOM LEADING: The Conversation

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Fish Story

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

Not long ago, my partner Matt Brubaker was running on the beach in La Jolla, California. He spotted a young seal on the beach waving its flippers and bobbing its head to get attention from passersby, hoping they would give it food. This struck Matt as funny, because the seal had its back to an ocean full of fish. All it had to do was turn around and dive! In our organizations, it's easy to become so caught up in the pursuit of one objective that we completely overlook the abundance that's all around us. For example, while corporations like Microsoft and Apple spend billions to develop the Next Big Thing, tiny software app companies like Uber and BabelVerse have been tapping into the vast untapped resources of the mobile economy. Uber leverages limo drivers' considerable downtime by letting customers call for high-class rides from their smart phones, while BabelVerse turns foreign language speakers around the world into an army of on-demand interpreters, also accessible via a smart phone app. That's brilliant. As we try to infuse our organizations with wisdom, it's important to step back from time to time, lift our noses from the grindstone and look around. We might see new opportunities, new customers, new markets and new ways of doing things. Are you choosing from abundance or sitting with your back to the ocean?

Not long ago, my partner Matt Brubaker was running on the beach in La Jolla, California. He spotted a young seal on the beach waving its flippers and bobbing its head to get attention from passersby, hoping they would give it food. This struck Matt as funny, because the seal had its back to an ocean full of fish. All it had to do was turn around and dive!

In our organizations, it's easy to become so caught up in the pursuit of one objective that we completely overlook the abundance that's all around us. For example, while corporations like Microsoft and Apple spend billions to develop the Next Big Thing, tiny software app companies like Uber and BabelVerse have been tapping into the vast untapped resources of the mobile economy. Uber leverages limo drivers' considerable downtime by letting customers call for high-class rides from their smart phones, while BabelVerse turns foreign language speakers around the world into an army of on-demand interpreters, also accessible via a smart phone app. That's brilliant.

As we try to infuse our organizations with wisdom, it's important to step back from time to time, lift our noses from the grindstone and look around. We might see new opportunities, new customers, new markets and new ways of doing things.

Are you choosing from abundance or sitting with your back to the ocean?

2 Comments // Permalink
Current Comments.
  1. Kate said:

    I love this post. So many times I have worked with clients who were searching for something without realizing it was in their own backyard. I myself was looking for a community to meditate with, and kept thinking I would have to drive to Cambridge or Boston (45 minutes away). I was complaining to a friend who asked, "Isn't there a group at the Unitarian Church in Groton?" Wouldn't you know it. There was a group, in fact it was the group that I learned to mediate with 15 years ago. My mind "thought" there wasn't anything close, so I didn't even look. And that is also the great value of a coach. Someone to ask, if you look at what is around you with new eyes, what is possible?

  2. Foster Mobley said:

    Thanks, Kate. Insightful as usual!


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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