1) What has been the reaction to the book so far? Really favorable. The buzz continues to grow! The typical reaction has to do with the surprise related to the title and the content; as in,"I didn't see that coming! I thought the title was going to take me one place, and what I got something way more."And, I'm getting helpful feedback and new ideas from people as they read the book. 2) As a new author what has surprised you thus far about the book? There have been two big surprises. The first is how many people read this book that typically wouldn't read a book on leadership. To them, this is a book about living powerfully and in the moment, and I can't really disagree with that! The second surprise is how powerful and enduring the metaphors are (of the stream, the storm, the empty house, etc.) in conveying the big message about leading from your best self. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive on how well those work for people. 3) Has there been a specific story from the book that has gathered particular attention? Like anything else in life, it comes down to one's beliefs and issues. Some people who have had particular struggles with the concept of noise, the idea that what goes on inside our heads or outside of us can create distractions to our presence and performance really resonate with the Tale of the Storm. Others that hold a belief that they've held themselves back or that they've had obstacles, resonate with the Tale of the Stream. The good news about the book is that it offers multiple ways, told through stories, for each of us to learn to access and live from our true talents and wisdom. 4) How would you describe presence to someone who hasn't read the book? Think about any moment when the world got really calm for you, when you didn't feel any pressure and you could just go do what you want. In that moment, you were present. For many it's a heightened state of awareness, like your senses on hyper drive. You hear more, you see more. It is a full experience of each moment you are living in. In this moment, you have access to your full talents as you are fully awake and I contend, that's when leaders lead best. 5) Since the publication of the book, as you've been speaking to others about it, what new insights on leadership have occurred to you? A new insight for me is that the concept of "addition by subtraction," while theoretically clear to people, is hard for some to grasp. They'll ask, "You mean I can be a better leader by letting go of stuff? Really? I'm in - tell me what to let go of!" It's hard for some leaders to make that leap. It requires more of an explanation for some to really understand that a very powerful starting place from which to improve their performance as a leader is to clean up their fears, thinking, habits and other things that may be holding them back. 6) What boulders do the leaders you work with encounter? Before I talk about others, I'll tell on myself! One of my largest boulders is a habit - the habit of prioritizing anything work-related over self-care. It's a self-limiting and unsustainable belief that I can only serve best when I am not pursuing my own needs. For the leaders with whom I work there seem to be a few common ones -a fear of addressing conflicts seen in talent or performance issues, or a lack of self-awareness about the consequences of certain actions. 7) Congratulations on the two awards the book has received. Why do you think it's been so critically acclaimed? Thank you! I think there are two reasons. First is the book's uniqueness. It tells the story of a self-development journey in three ways (1) through a fable,(2) through a direct voice, and (3) through some deep inquiry (questions I call "Access Points"). Second, is the quality of the writing. People just loved the writing, even if they didn't agree with all the concepts. Consistently, they have said this was a really well-written book. 8) So what's next for you in your literary career? There's a lot going on. First, I'm pleased to announce that Greenleaf Book Group will be publishing my next book, co-written with my business partner Matt Brubaker,on our unique insights into high performing teams currently titled "The Wave." I'm also writing the second year's worth of Weekly Wisdoms, my blog on mindful presence and leading powerfully (please subscribe at www.fostermobley.com). Third and finally, I have just submitted a book chapter called "OD in Healthcare" for a best-selling textbook on organization development, co-written with Erin Mobley and Jennifer Perry.
Foster answers questions about his upcoming book 'Leadersh*t: Rethinking the True Path to Great Leading'.