Leadership excellence has always been the core theme of Eagle Talk; what it embodies in the fullest sense of moral courage, values-based behavior, communication abilities and outcomes. It is with great sadness we announce that our greatest leader, our ‘Eagle’ Bob, has taken flight and joined family, friends, comrades in arms, and many exceptional leaders among the stars above.
Bob always felt he was blessed to be able to work with men and women as a coach and mentor, recognizing as he said, “that he was identifying those individuals who had the potential to become game-changing leaders with the courage, character, and commitment to make a difference in the world.” His greatest premise was this: You are most effective, authentic, credible, and happy when you are being yourself, doing what you are called and gifted to do. This was Bob.
He compelled individuals to strive for excellence; to own their choices and decisions in order to be successful within their own soul. In the later years of his life, he was often asked by clients, “Why are you still working?” He would simply answer, “Because it is my ministry, I have fun, and I love doing it.”
He was a true Servant Leader, defined in his own words as someone who “finds and brings out the very best in each individual, giving greater purpose, meaning and satisfaction to their life journey.” Often, at the end of correspondence he would add his favorite adages, “Reach for the stars!” and “Who Dares, wins!” Bob indeed, has won the final victory.
In this final edition of Eagle Talk, we share a memoriam we’ve written about our Servant Leader of whom we are so proud.
With our very best wishes,
Melinda, Jennifer, and Michael Mobley
Nathan ‘Bob’ Mobley, Jr. of Boise, ID, Hailey, ID, and San Francisco, CA, died on January 30th, 2022, in his new hometown of Napa, CA, at the age of 87.
Bob was born in Greenwich, CT, to Eleanor (nee Smith) the former National Treasurer of the Girl Scouts of the USA, and Nathan Mobley, an insurance executive. Bob is survived by his wife of fifty-one years, Melinda, and their two children, daughter Jennifer, and son-in-law Bill Bloomfield, of San Francisco, CA; son Michael, and daughter-in-law Stephanie, and granddaughters Isla, Cora, and Willa, of Bronxville, NY. He is also survived by his three children from his first wife Dinny Linen: daughter, Sally Leger (Ron) of Sonoma, CA; son Nathan, III (Patricia T. Whitehead), and granddaughters Caitlin, and Aislinn, of Dallas, TX; and son Mark of Hailey, ID. He was predeceased by his sisters Constance Spiro and Anne Ramsey.
Bob was raised and educated on the East Coast and attended Greenwich Country Day School, Deerfield Academy, Yale University, and graduated with a Masters from Teachers College at Columbia University. He played football for both Deerfield Academy and Yale University, and briefly played guard on the Green Bay Packers practice squad.
Friends, teammates, and classmates have encapsulated a personality we all adored.
Says Steve Ackerman, “His earnestness, easy laugh, optimism, and rollicking humor were never absent traits. Always with Bob spirited conversations ensured.”
“He kept me laughing all through Yale,” roommate Ken Sharp says. “He was always upbeat, never a depressing moment.” Johnny Herrmann, another roommate who knew Bob from Deerfield days, catches the man in all his largeness, “an irrepressible personality, ‘hail fellow well met,’ sales god, story teller (usually exaggerated), long time sweetheart and friend who always talked up in class (and exaggerated there, too). At Yale, he was the wake-up-the-room guy with marshal music to which he often goose-stepped – particularly when getting ready for football games. He was an inveterate schmoozer, a warm and interesting fellow with always a fab story to tell.”
Bob held many career positions, including teaching at his Alma Mater, Greenwich Country Day School in Greenwich, CT, and heading the History Department of Harvard School in Los Angeles, CA. Following his teaching tenure, he then turned to what became the central focus of his career – leadership training, when he joined up with a pal and launched a business teaching individuals how to deliver better speeches. Recognizing there was a broader need in corporate governance and competitive business, especially in developing teams based on strong values, shared visions, and goals, he found his true passion and launched Mobley Bingham in 1978 which eventually became Mobley Leadership, a coaching firm with a track record of improving effectiveness in many world-class companies. In Bob’s words, “The opportunity to work with skilled, intelligent, successful men and women in different cultures around the world is probably the best education I could have had.”
Bob’s passion for exploring what makes people tick was his unique and refined gift that made him so successful in helping people become more effective while becoming truer to who they are. He was committed and focused on planting passion in executives’ hearts and inspiring them to be the best they could be. This was his ministry and it extended into his personal life. Bob took interest in everyone he met and always made them feel like they were the most important person in the room. He encouraged one to respect their own integrity, values, and knowledge, and most importantly, to believe in oneself.
Last year he completed a life-long goal of writing a pocket manual on how one can become an excellent leader and play their best game based on his 40+ years of coaching.
Within its contents are the principles we saw reflected in him throughout his entire life; that successful individuals live strong values every day, are fine communicators, own their experiences, are not afraid to fail because they know how to come back and be successful, are committed to and believe in their vision, and possess moral courage.
Bob was an Anglophile through and through and an incredible historian, with a passion for military history and toy soldiers. From childhood he amassed an impressive collection of hand-painted lead soldiers and could recite the specific narrative of each one of his historical figurines. Winston Churchill was one of Bob’s idols, and he had a deep affinity for the values and history of the Gurkha’s, the troops that became the backbone of British Indian Forces.
His professional life allowed him to enjoy the things he valued most: time with his family, his friends, football, marching music, conducting, toy soldiers, food, and whiskey! He and Melinda traveled the world together making friends wherever they went. Bob was a living legend and will be forever missed, but heaven will never be boring again!