By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy
Here’s an idea to help more fully engage your listeners. Reading time: 3:51
“And that’s the way it is…” Walter Cronkite, closed every CBS television news nightly broadcast with that phrase.
Those 6 words signaled to all his viewers not simply the conclusion of his broadcast but the authenticity of what they had just experienced.
That phrase —“And that’s the way it is”– repeated every weekday night gave a ring of familiarity that threw a proverbial security blanket around his viewers.
His mantra –decisive on principle and incisive on purpose — made his audience feel special, that they had been part of something tailored specifically for them.
No wonder the most effective leaders know how to define and deliver closing phrases like that give greater meaning to their presentations.
See You Over the Top
Tony Robbins, a motivational speaker, ends each segment of his audio tape series: “Live each day with passion!.”
Zig Ziglar, a motivational speaker, always concludes his presentation with the phrase: “I’ll see you over the top.”Those signature closes are like so many after-dinner mints.
They help you savor what you have just experienced. They help you to enjoy the familiarity of structure even in the turbulence of changing content. No wonder ministers end each service with an AMEN — “So be it.”
Some church leaders serve even grandeur after-dinner mints called a Benediction, from the Latin “good saying.” As the choir concludes, the organist ends on a high note and the minister gives the Benediction: Go now and be of good cheer…”
So too, the most effective leaders serve after-dinner mints after each staff meeting. Sometimes that after-dinner mint becomes like a magnet that pulls customers, investors, suppliers and employees into the center of your company.
And sometimes that after-dinner mint can be savored by everyone simultaneously .
Consider “The Optimist Creed” that is recited by Optimist Club members to close every meeting. Members are business leaders and professionals who wish to promote activities and programs in the community that benefit youth.
All rise and face a large banner where the Optimist Creek is festooned. But most recite it from memory. It’s part and parcel of who they are as an organization. Their creed is written as bold and big on their hearts as it is on the huge yellow banner in front of the room.
The melding of their voices in unison around a singular idea cements their relationship to each other and their collective vision for their purpose, for their passion, for their place in their organization.
Some critics might charge that is a form of indoctrination. Yet no one forces the members to recite THEIR creed. They choose to. They want to. They almost feel like they have to share it with others.
After all their creed is their bond, their charter, their psychic pay. Their allegiance to each other has to be proclaimed, projected, and promoted
Study the structure of “The Optimist Creed.” Save this after-dinner mint as a reminder to you to develop your own ritual to end department or staff meetings on an upbeat tone instead of chewing on the same old routine bone. Give ’em something to truly savor, an after dinner mint like this:
The Optimist Creed
To Be strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.
To take health, happiness and prosperity to every persona you meet.
To make all your friends feel that there is something in them.
To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.
To think only of the best, to work only for the best and expect only the best.
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.
To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give everything living creature you meet a smile.
To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize other.
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.”
Leaders who regularly share that kind of after-dinner mint are more apt to also make a mint in the marketplace.
And that’s the way it is….
End meetings with a ritual to keep your leadership thinking in mint condition.
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