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Maintaining Command Over Your Mind’s Automatic Pilot

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to help you stay focused.

          Smash!!! My arm must have morphed into a Paul Bunyan axe the way I pounded on that Pepsi vending machine. I didn’t break anything –except my ego. And all I wanted was a cold Pepsi on a hot summer day.

        “Can I help you,’’ snarled the owner of the gas station as his eyes scanned his Pepsi vending machine with the coveted look of Corvette owner committed to protecting his property. “The machine must have jammed,” I opined.

        The proprietor unlocked the machine, reached in and retrieved my Pepsi. “Thanks,” I said as I headed for the door. “Sir, that’s 75 cents.”

         Oh, Shhh-t! I felt so stupid. It’s not that I didn’t feed enough money into the machine. It’s that I didn’t feed ANY money at all into the Pepsi vending machine. After all, I was used to FREE Pepsi vending machines.

  Free Vending Machines at Pepsi’s Headquarters

       Back then, I worked at Pepsi-Cola Company’s corporate headquarters in New York. Free Pepsi vending machines dotted the break rooms throughout the complex. I got used to just hitting he lever on the vending machine and out popped a Pepsi. FREE.

       Then that hot summer day  I stopped to get gas and saw a Pepsi vending machine.  I did what I always did at the office when I was thirsty and saw a Pepsi machine. Ooops. My mind was on automatic pilot and flying way off track. I simply forgot where I was.

      The most effective leaders I have known may not always take command over their automatic pilot flying around in their subconscious. But these leaders are more apt to be AWARE of their Automatic Pilot’s keen ability to always fly the path of least resistance. And these leaders try to fight off the mindless euphoria that can lull you into making a mistake or making you look stupid  like I did banging away at that Pepsi machine. Or worst yet being embarrassed. Let me tell you about the time I ended up in a women’s bathroom. By accident.

      I let my automatic pilot take off one day and I found myself sitting inside a woMen’s bathroom. I only saw the “Men” sign on the slightly ajar door and when Nature called and I went. I was visiting a new manufacturing plant. It was my first time in this particular area of the plant and let’s just say I was happy the bathroom was vacant at the time. After all, my face was already flushed enough. With embarrassment. At least I didn’t have to bang on the door like some  Paul Bunyan wanna-be.

     How do you keep your mind’s automatic pilot from taking off and leaving you behind? I look forward to learning from you over a cold Pepsi or the beverage of your choice. Use the Comments Section below.

     Today’s ImproveMINT
Stay vigilant to keep your leadership thinking in mint condition.

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When REPLYing, send TO PeterJeff@charter.net.

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