By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy
Here’s an idea to remind you are who you associate with. Reading time: 2:26
The Tofu sizzling in the vegetable stir fry looked bland in the pan yet tasted grand on the tongue. How come?
The answer just may do more than expand the versatility in your tantalizing palate. It just might also broaden the diversity in your leadership palette to solve problems more creatively and productively.
Think of Tofu as an aromatic sponge that soaks up air-borne smells in a Marinating Magic Show and provides us a metaphor to brighten up and your leadership skills no matter how bland you may feel now doing ordinary work in an ordinary job.
Like Tofu, your leadership skill sets, sizzle in a skillet, especially when you are stirred around in a variety of diverse flavors, tastes, vegetable juices etc.
Call it the Tofu Tango.
Indeed, the more you dance with the stars –leaders in their own fields–the brighter you feel.
You become a part of all you touch and all who touch you impart something of themselves in you that lasts over time and shapes your thinking, guides your soul and alerts your mind to the opportunities and obstacles ahead.
In that savory environment of enticing smells, aspiring leaders enthusiastically follow the lead of the pheromone trail blazing ants guiding the way toward foods of another kind that can sustain and nourish personally and professionally. Harvard psychologist David mClelland says the people you habitually associate with “can determine up to 95% of your success or failure in life.”
Yet the most effective leaders carefully review the residue before climbing into a new environment, before mixing it up with new vegetables in a new skillet.
Choose your Tofu Tango dance partners carefully. Leverage the shine on that dance floor still sparkling from yesterday’s music. Imagine that you’re a Pilgrim on the Mayflower. Few Piligrim’s got sea sick on the voyage.
They danced to a calm music from yesterday when the Mayflower was used primarily to ship wine. Historian says the wine songs on the Mayflower’s dance card from previous voyages shared the residual health benefits of wine with the Pilgrims.
At any rate, the most effective leaders dance their Tofu Tango in a variety of places with a variety of partners, sautéing their experts with just the right spices to bring out their best flavor over time.
For example baseball legend Billy Martin spiced up the New York Yankees with his fiery temper in managing the team with his share of fights with umpires and the team owner and a celebrated player.
But as a player, Martin flavored the Yankee soup in stunning style from his second base position. Temmate Phil Rizzuto recalled: “The year he (Billy Martin) roomed with me, I was MVP (Most Valuable Player in the American League). The year he roomed with Yogi (Berra) he was the MVP. And the year he roomed with Mickey (Mantle) he was the MVP.”
Leaders feed—and feed off of others—in much the same way a room with pendulum clocks set at a different swing rates will synchronized without any manual or electronic intervention.
Like Tofu, leaders affect others the closer they associate with each other the better they perform. They sound so much more robust reflecting off each other when all the strings are played on a single cradle rather than playing each string on a different cradle.
Indeed , the proximity of what or who you surround yourself with, affects you. And flavors your dining experience at the Leadership table. Bon appetite.
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