How to Lead a 5-Minute Leadership Mints Break

You’re busy. Too busy to attend all the leadership development workshops you might like or read all the leadership books and blogs you might like. And you just can’t afford either the time or the money to allow your staff to take time away from the job to learn and grow and add even more to your company’s bottom line.

So what’s a leader supposed to do to grow his or her people with no time and few resources, especially in an era where your people are doing more work with fewer hands on board?

Give your team a break. Give ’em a 5-Minute Leadership Mints Break and help your team refresh their professional development skills in a time-saving, convenient format.

Consumed like a breath mint –quick and on-the-go — a Leadership Mint is a quick pick-me-up narrative of a key leadership behavior that like its candy counterpart is easily spooned, immediately reinvigorating and quickly digested in 5 minutes or less.

These Leadership Mints, these stories that demonstrate optimum leadership behaviors, are packaged in three books sold separately on Amazon.com. They include THINKING Like a Leader, LOVING Like a Leader, and SPEAKING Like a Leader.

           Here’s how you conduct a 5-minute  Leadership Mints Break during a team meeting:

FIRST : A team member is chosen the week before to lead the 5-Minute Leadership Mints Break at the next team meeting.

That designated Leadership Mints Break Leader assigns the MINT story out of

           the 77 available Leadership Mints in THINKING LIKE A LEADER, or ….

the 77 Leadership Mints available in LOVING Like a Leader

        or the 52 Leadership Mints available in SPEAKING Like a Leader 

to be read prior to the next team meeting. Invest a few minutes of reading for a lifetime of effective leading.

SECOND: At the next team meeting the Leadership Mints Break Leader then leads a discussion on the leadership principle called out in that assigned Mint (story).

THIRD: Fun option: Pass around a candy dish of wrapped mints for all to enjoy while savoring their Leadership Mints.

Recharge, rewind, and remind yourself of your values-based leadership principles while helping to develop other busy leaders quickly and easily—like digesting an invigorating candy mint.

Savor a Leadership Mint—a meaningful and memorable short story on exemplary leadership behavior that takes less than five minutes to read.

Then discuss the ImproveMINT, a one-line summary of the key leadership learning at the end of each Leadership Mint in THINKING Like a Leader for you and your team’s continued Professional Development.

Or savor the EngageMINT, a one-line summary of the key leadership learning at the end of each Leadership Mint in LOVING Like a Leader for you and your team’s continued Professional Development.

Or reinvigorate yourself with the StateMINT, a one-line summary of the key leadership learning at the end of each Leadership Mint in SPEAKING Like a Leader for you and your team’s continued Professional Development.

Dip into the Leadership Mints bowl of your choice. Invest a few minutes of reading time for a lifetime of leading.

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Savoring a Leadership Mint to SEASON Your Sense of Humor

SEASON is an acrostic for 6 ways that you can use humor to engage others, ease tension, enhance more effective teamwork and sustain a nurturing culture filled with heart-felt dignity and respect. The 6 ways to enhance your humor are: Substituting, Exaggerating, Associating, Skewing, Opposing and Narrowing.

SUBSTITUTING

When you substitute, you bait and switch. You bait your audience with a straight line (the setup) then you substitute an unexpected but related concept (the punchline). Citing the wedding night of 86-year-old Hugh Hefner to a 26-year-old, Jay Leno substituted: “She wore Channel No. 5. He wore Febreze.”

EXAGGERATING

When you exaggerate, you stretch a point of view. Observing the longevity of Regis Philbin still hosting a TV talk show at 80,  David Letterman exaggerated: “I don’t want to say that Regis is old but his first co-host was Eve.”

ASSOCIATING

When you associate, you link two unrelated ideas. Associating his roommate’s initials with an expletive, Oscar Madison in the movie The Odd Couple says to Felix Unger,You write me these notes and sign them FU. It took me three months to realize FU stood for Felix Unger.

SKEWING

When you skew, you twist the intended meaning. A pretty woman remarked how cool the man she was just introduced to looked in his light summer suit. The man skewed:Thanks, you don’t look so hot yourself.” (Yes, that’s Yogi Berra the Hall of Fame baseball player who had his own way with words. )

OPPOSING

When you oppose, you redirect the expected order. Rodney Dangerfield redirected the expected order with this opposing observation: “When I was a boy I was so poor, I got batteries. Toys not included.”

NARROWING

When you narrow, you limit the intended meaning. A 5-year-old boy crashed his dad’s car into the garage. The boy then narrowed his sites, noting that he put the car’s transmission into “R” for race.

You can get more tips and techniques on sharpening your sense of humor to enhance your leadership skills. See The FUNdamentals of Leadership in THINKING LIKE A LEADER, available on Amazon.com.

 

Puzzling Together The Leadership Mints Series

Designed in a reader-friendly, dip-in-anywhere format, the three books in the Leadership Mints Series are also constructed like pieces of a puzzle.

They fit a particular need of emerging, newly-minted and seasoned leaders from clarity and creativity to empathy and compassion to civility and credibility.  For example:

                                                CLARITY

THINKING LIKE A LEADER is ideal for emerging and newly-minted  leaders to refresh their feeling for leading.It is also suitable as an on-boarding tool for new employees to sharpen their clarity and set creative and innovative expectations.

THINKING Like a Leader also includes insights from 89 other books on leadership. Each Leadership Mint (story) concludes with a key learning takeaway called Today’s ImproveMINT.

These 77 Leadership Mints in THINKING Like a Leader are featured in three key topic areas: Creativity, Concentration and Collaboration.  Sample Leadership Mint title:Yabba Dabba Doo On Monday Morning Too.

EMPATHY

LOVING LIKE A LEADER is ideal for seasoned leaders as a mentoring tool.

It is also suitable for newly-promoted leaders to learn how other leaders express empathy. LOVING Like a Leader includes examples from leaders in military, business, sports and politics. Each Leadership Mint (story) concludes with a key learning takeaway called Today’s EngageMINT.

These 77 Leadership Mints in LOVING Like a Leader are featured in three key topic areas: Compassion, Connection and Conviction. Sample Leadership Mint title: Swallowing Your Feedback With a Slice of Humble Pie  (Mint 43).

                                                             CIVILITY

SPEAKING LIKE A LEADER is ideal for all leaders especially those facing adversarial audiences such as irate customers, aggressive media and bored meeting attendees. The focus is on civility.

Each Leadership Mint (story) concludes with a key learning takeaway called Today’s StateMINT.

These 52 Leadership Mints in SPEAKING Like a Leader are featured in three key topic areas: Credibility, Memorability and Capability. Sample Leadership Mint title: Becoming an Eye-Deal Speaker  (Mint 28).

Take a break. Savor a Leadership Mint. Refresh your feeling for leading. And find that missing piece in your  your proverbial puzzle today.

 

$15 Conversational Starters for Leaders & Their Direct Reports

You’ve just been promoted and you can’t wait to clean up the place. Your way.

But in your zeal to make your mark you find yourself policing more than coaching, barking and ordering instead of cheering and championing  your team.  And both you and your staff are stressed and less committed to the success of each other or the company.

Now what do you do?

            Leaders in that frustrating funk are finding a way to wear their coaching hat more often than their cop cap and getting even more productive results. How? Those leaders are giving their disgruntled employees a 5-minute Leadership Mints Break at their weekly staff meetings.

            Consumed like a breath mint –quick and on-the-go—a Leadership Mint is a quick- pick-me-up narrative of a key leadership behavior that like its candy counterpart is easily spooned, immediately reinvigorating and quickly digested in 5 minutes or less.

Featuring a reader-friendly dip-in-anywhere, grab n’ go format, Leadership Mints foster a more productive and non-threatening learning experience especially in coaching and mentoring others in highly-emotional behaviors like conflict management, self-control and humility. Continue reading “$15 Conversational Starters for Leaders & Their Direct Reports”

Savor Today’s Leadership Mint: Gaining Trust With Empathy

Empathy is good business.

You gain greater buy-in the more you can step into the shoes of your customers or your employees and more readily feel what they feel.

        That empathy then fuels a trust that triggers greater productivity and profitability over time.

But how do you teach empathy? You don’t.

Let others do it for you : like Generals in the U.S. Army (Colin Powell and Norm Schwarzkopf), political leaders like Abraham Lincoln, Harry Truman, Barack Obama and Lee Kuan Yew along with legendary sports heroes like pro football’s Vince Lombardi and professional golf’s Jack Nicklaus.

They share their secret to success: leading with empathy among the 77 Leadership Mints 5-minute stories in LOVING Like a Leader, one of the three books in the Leadership Mints Series designed to help busy leaders freshen their feeling for leading.