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Tony Overbay is a marriage and family therapist, author, speaker and podcast host. He began his career in the high tech world but felt the call to become a therapist and help men. For the past 14 years, he has been a licensed marriage and family therapist with a practice in Roseville, California. While Tony grew up in Utah, he is an adult convert to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He has been married 28 years, is a father of four, an ultra-marathoner, host of the Virtual Couch Podcast, author of He’s a Porn Addict…Now What?, creator of The Path Back pornography recovery program, and currently serves on the Leading Saints Professional Therapists Advisory Board. In this episode, Kurt and Tony discuss how leaders can deal with co-dependency, overcoming the nice guy syndrome, and how we can be more successful focusing on values instead of goals.
4:00 Co-dependency: what is it?
14:30 Nice guy syndrome in leaders = co-dependency
17:20 Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
20:00 God isn’t disappointed in me
24:25 Bad things happening aren’t correlated to our behavior
30:35 Relief Society President example
31:40 Values and the Bishop Monson dynamic
36:40 System vs. goals
37:45 As you make goals, focus on values that you’ve established
41:30 As an organization (or ward) we should be focused on values, not goals
47:00 How do we see signs that we’re trapped in the nice guy syndrome?
55:00 Values: find what’s important to you
1:00:00 Truth, beauty, and goodness
1:04:00 Values vs. identity
1:06:00 The importance of vulnerability as a leader
He’s a Porn Addict…Now What?: An Expert and a Former Addict Answer Your Questions
Clarifying Values PDF, from The Confidence Gap by Russ Harris
Great discussion, Kurt and Tony. Really spoke to my own “nice guy” struggles in leadership and will definitely inform my contributions moving forward. Thank you.
Kurt, I’m glad you mentioned the potentially harmful comparison leaders can be tempted to make of their own efforts against the legendary stories from General Authorities, in particular President Monson’s stellar ministry. I was called as a bishop in my 2nd year of teaching high school, with a 2-year-old and a 1-year-old and a wife with some health struggles. Months after that, President Monson became the prophet, and all of those visits to widows and hospitals, letters to soldiers, 24/7 house calls did tempt me to feel twinges of comparative inadequacy. Fortunately for me, I received good guidance that helped me see that if President Monson had tried doing all those things by himself as a bishop in the 2010s, his stake president may have asked him why he wasn’t allowing his quorums and auxiliaries more opportunities to serve the people in their stewardships. And true enough, great experiences happened when I did let go of trying to do too much and feeling bad about what I didn’t do.
Thanks again! Keep up the wonderful work.
Thanks for the nice words Kevin, especially your thoughts on the comparisons with President Monson. I believe I shared in the episode but as a seminary teacher for years and now in therapy, I often hear people compare themselves against truly remarkable people, or people whose circumstances, or even spiritual gifts, allow them to serve in different ways at different times in their lives. We’ve all been given such different gifts and we all come from such incredibly different situations in our lives, we truly need to just do the best we can. Growth begins when one starts from a place of acceptance, and strength NOT from a place of shame, or “what’s wrong with me?” Keep up the great work!
Loved this and it was exactly what I needed today!!! Thank you!
I really loved this episode. As a young women’s president my thoughts were continually being turned to the children and youth program and how the process of goal setting should be approached with our youth. I would love more discussion and thoughts on how to help our youth create value-based goals for themselves. Maybe it all starts with allowing them opportunity to explore and recognize their personal values? Is there a developmental stage where a child is able to personally identify with values instead of taking on those of the adults in their lives? If so when is it?
I would also love a list of those values that you use in therapy. I would love to see how in tune I am with myself.
Thank you for the food for thought. I find alot of value in these conversations.
This was a truly exceptional episode. I can see ACT taking over CBT. Even the acronym is better.
Also, pointing out that as leaders we need to help members connect with the values they want to have and develop them starting from a point of acceptance should be everything what the church should be about.
Just like this comment above copied below says:
Growth begins when one starts from a place of acceptance, and strength NOT from a place of shame, or “what’s wrong with me?” Keep up the great work!
This is a lay leadership. It is composed of men and women who must deal with their own weaknesses. They will always be there. We must realize, while it is true, that principles of psychology can help us interpersonally, what truly has helped leaders in the church do their jobs is the enabling grace of The Lord Jesus Christ. He is the one who turns leader’s weaknesses into strengths.