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Exercising Your Navel Intelligence on the Seas of Change

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

  Here’s an idea to sharpen your gut instinct in leading others.

          Go ahead. No one’s looking. Touch your belly button.

          You now have your finger on the most critical button you can push in igniting your leadership– in reminding you how life-sustaining it is for you to stay : Connected to your employees. Connected your customers. Connected to your vendors. Connected to your stockholders. Connected to your stakeholders, et al.

        Your connections to your employees, customers and vendors are much like an umbilical cord through which your organization gains nourishment and growth. Call it navel intelligence.

         That’s why the most effective leaders I have known seek opportunities to  leverage their “navel” intelligence in recognizing how vital it is for various parts of the organization to stay connected.

   Nurturing: Babies in the Womb
Grow Over One  Million Times in Weight

         I remember cutting the umbilical cord when my daughter was born and thinking how  critically vital that tethered  connection was for Amy  to grow in “mommy’s tummy” as my daughter would later say.  And I later learned just how productively babies grow in the womb: over a million times in weight and 240 times in length!

        Indeed ever since my daughter’s birth and my up close and personal experience with the umbilical cord, I’ve seen my own belly button as a metaphor for consistently reminding me to stay connected to others. To nourish others.  To develop others.  In essence: To lead.

     I know the most effective leaders I ever knew always remembered Chief Seattle’s observation of just  how connected we all are –like so many threads in a web. “Whatever we do to the web we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.”

               People Who Need People
Are The Luckiest People in the World

       No wonder one of my favorite songs is People. I always get goose bumps when I hear Barbra Streisand sing: “People who need people are the luckiest people in the world.”

      Some of those luckiest people are in Roseto, a small town in Pennsylvania. Close family ties are cited for the low incidents of heart disease, even though Roseto residents had a high fat diet and did not exercise. It is instructive to note that when people in the town drifted apart from each other, when they became disconnected, when they cut their proverbial umbilical cords,  their incidence of heart attacks increased.

Belly Up to the (Performance)  Bar

        Staying connected means you are more productive, not only in building synergy with others but in enhancing your personal energy in particular and health in general. Strengthening your connections to family and friends can even stave off Death from knocking on your door:

  1. A Yale University study showed that heart patients with no emotional supports (friends and family) were more than twice as likely to die within a month after discharge from the hospital.
  2. A University of Michigan study found that men who lack social networks of family, friends, or church groups experience death rates 1-3 times higher.

        For me, the message is clear. Stay connected. And every day in every way, I try to belly up to the (performance) bar, ready to leverage my navel intelligence.

     Today’s ImproveMINT
Stay connected to others to  keep your leadership skills in mint condition.


You might also like these previous Leadership Mints on Relationship Building:
Feeding Friend-zy

Relationship Building ‘R Us

Leaders are Lovers

Next Leadership Mint January 2

(Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! I look forward to serving you your next Leadership Mint on Monday January 2. Enjoy the holidays.   And in the meantime, have a few mints –on me. See Leadership Mints archive of 75 previous posts).

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When REPLYing, send TO PeterJeff@charter.net.

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