Hearing What’s Not Being Said

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to enhance your ability to anticipate. Reading time: 1:56.

        You’re hungry. You wander into an unfamiliar restaurant.  You order.


The M*A*S*H* television program in the 1970’s evinced many leadership principles including the power in anticipating customer needs.

            But when the waiter serves your entree you almost need a magnifying glass to find your food on the plate.

           The beef is sliced so fine that you can read the dish pattern through it. Talk about melting in your mouth! This meat is so thin it seems to evaporate off your fork before it crosses your lips.

         The waiter notices and in the process exercises a key leadership skill: hearing what’s not being said.

         Maybe it was the way he saw your puppy dog eyes that seemed to drool all over the plate when you kept looking for more meat on the plate.

         Maybe it was the way he could almost feel your fork scraping the plate trying to get every morsel.

         Maybe it was the way he seemingly heard your stomach growling.

         At any rate the waiter came by with a second helping of that thin beef.  But this time he packed in on perhaps three or four layers high. Now it was as thick as a napkin. A paper napkin. Unfolded.

           Anticipation –The Sixth Sense

Radar O'Reilly

Radar O’Reilly

           That alert waiter practiced the Leader’s Sixth Sense – Anticipation.

          Give that alert waiter the Radar O’Reilly award.

          You remember Corporal Walter Eugene (Radar)  O’Reilly, the company clerk and assistant to the Colonel on the television series M*A*S*H*. The corporal anticipated the Colonel’s every need.

        Radar often completed the Colonel’s sentences.  In fact, O’Reilly earned his “Radar” monicker because he had an uncanny ability to hear helicopters flying the wounded into the military field hospital during the Korean War before others could.

         Radar O’Reilly could literally hear what was not being said.

         And that’s the kind of leadership that needs no magnifying glass.

 Today’s ImproveMINT

Anticipate the needs of others to keep your leadership thinking in mint condition.

SUBSCRIBE: Have a Leadership Mint delivered to your E-mail every business day. It’s free. Just click the SIGN ME UP box in the upper left column.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.