By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy
Here’s an idea to enhance your productivity. Reading time: 2:57
You’ve been hustling for the last 33 hours, chasing down one detail after another. You’re exhausted yet relieved.
FINALLY! Your project is completed. On time and under budget. And you’re ready to celebrate.
Not so fast. There’s still work to do. At least to the most effective leaders.
They’re too busy planting more proverbial fruit for tomorrow while TODAY everyone else is enjoying the fruits of their labor.
At least that’s what Charles Lindbergh did when he completed his project –a grueling, history-making, solo trans-Atlantic flight in 33.5 hours. Lindbergh hadn’t slept in 61 hours. He hadn’t eaten in more than 30 hours.
Yet his first words upon landing in Paris wasn’t how thrilled he was or even where’s the bathroom. No, Charles Lindbergh, was still flying high in his leadership role, making sure his airplane was still intact, asking first and foremost: “Are there any mechanics here.”
Leaders stay the course 24/7 even after they’ve docked and long after they’ve landed. No matter how exhausted, they are still exhilarated. And often accelerated in their performance.
Leaders understand the sense of passion and conviction that Mozart exhibited even as a boy, continuing to play the piano even when someone would drop a cloth over his hands.
Some would call that an obsession. Others –leaders on a mission with a vision–would call it staying focused toward continuous improvement.
To Lindbergh no detail was too small to be improved upon as long as it was fully connected to his big picture.
Lindbergh demonstrated his penchant for detail in his quest for continuous improvement after investing 10 years of research and writing into his autobiography, The Spirit of St. Louis.
After rewriting his 260,000 word book six times before releasing it to his publisher, Lindbergh asked to see one of the first printed copies of his book before releasing it for the full press run.
Lindbergh would “measure the difference between a semi-colon and a colon to make sure each was what it ought to be,” his publisher Charles Scribner recalled. “To him every detail of the book had as much significance as if it were a moving part in his airplane.”
And why not? Success is dynamic array of moving parts– ever-changing, ever-flowing– like an airplane that may touch and go more often than it ever really lands for long.
That’s why the most effective leaders are always on the move. Staying ahead of the pace of change, fighting off the temptation of complacency, leading the way KNOWING there’s still more work to do. Even after 33.5 hours of continuous work.
No wonder the most fruitful, growth-oriented, enriching leaders are always planting in the Garden of Continuous Improvement.
Especially when everyone else has stopped to smell the roses.
Stay the course 24/7 to keep your leadership thinking in mint condition.
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Filed under: Conviction | Tagged: continuous improvement, details and writing, Lindbergh, Lindbergh's writing discipline, Lindbergh's writing style, Spirit of St. Louis, staying focused after the project is done, staying focused when the job is done, what did Lindbergh do as soon as he landed, writing the details |