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Keeping Your Oars In the Water

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to stay focused on increased performance. Reading time: 2:37.

        You won. But you’re not done. Not yet. Leaders don’t take time to rest— no matter how good the profit margin; no matter how prolific the units sales, no matter how pre-emptive the new product launch. There’s just TOO MUCH left to do.  Going forward.

       EDITED OAR  At least that’s the assessment of Lee Iacocca who led Chrysler from the brink of bankruptcy.  “Never rest on your oars as a boss, if you do, the whole company starts sinking.”

        The most effective leaders intuitively know they need to continuously improve.  Consistently  perform. Persistently progress.  After all:

  • Karate practitioners, the day after their black belt exam, are expected to be on the mat the next day practicing, improving  and improvising.
  • Artist Grandma Moses would finish a painting and then 10 days later study it to see where she could improve and improvise.
  • Author James Michener was asked to name his favorite book among the more than 35 he had authored. Michener said:  “My preference is always the next book” where he could improve and improvise.

    Abraham Lincoln always kept his oar in the water even when it seemed his boat was sinking. The president quickly paddled his way out of his situation, no matter how devastating the defeat or how exhausting the effort or how hopeless the condition. Keep rowing.

        That’s what  Lincoln  did shortly after he learned that his Union forces were defeated at the first Battle of Bull Run. The Union army was forced to  retreat . Lincoln knew the Union army was not disciplined enough to hold formation and ward off the onslaught.  Lincoln did not sleep that night.

        Lincoln pulled out his proverbial oar and went to work. He immediately sat down and wrote a new military policy that called for a Union army that was “consistently drilled, disciplined and instructed.”    His oar:  still in the water. His heart: still in the hunt. His head: still in leadership mode.

Today’s ImproveMINT

Be persistent to keep your leadership thinking in mint condition.

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