Leadership Mints Series Sampler On Deception: Lying To Ourselves

Believing is seeing – NOT the other way around.

That’s why nearly 95 percent of guns and knives in test audits still slip past diligent and highly competent airport screeners. Why?

Their otherwise collective stellar competence blinds them to something new and different and binds them to what they already know and believe–at least statistically in successfully searching 99.9999 % of 1.7 billion pieces of luggage each year.

Airport screeners cite the probabilities more than the possibilities: that bulge in a the luggage is probably a bottle of shampoo more than possibly a gun.

Airport screeners do what all humans do: we default to what we believe or have come to believe over time, notes Macolm Tidwell in his book Talking to Strangers. And sometimes we end up deceiving ourselves.

That’s when the most effective leaders guard against “talking past each other instead of talking to each other,” Tidwell observes.”One side sees the forest and no trees and the other side sees the trees and no forests.”

Then we make assumptions. We jump to a conclusion. We misinterpret body language. And the result is still another police shooting gone awry or a pedophile still at large etc.

We can get TOO comfortable in our thinking patterns. Then it becomes TOO easy to give someone or something the benefit of the doubt. That’s why the most effective leaders resist the urge to be efficient. And wrong.

Thinking like a leader means you regularly take off your blinders. You open yourself  up to more challenge, change and conflict to your beliefs, values, prejudices and perceptions.

You learn to check your assumptions at the door before stepping on the rights, roles and responsibilities of others.

You learn how to cut through the clutter in the forest of your mind. You learn how to see both the trees and the forest. You might even discover an insight: a brilliant ray of light shining INTO the forest THROUGH the trees.

But the most effective leaders realize that in time
you will begin deceiving yourself.
You will start seeing ONLY that brilliant ray of light or
what you already believe in
regardless of new information or changing conditions.

No wonder the most effective leaders regularly cut off their blinders no matter how right – and righteous – they feel. Even 99.9999 % of the time.

For more tips and techniques on guarding against deceiving yourself, please purchase a 296-page book on Amazon.com filled with examples from business, sports and politics.

THINKING Like a Leader, a Leadership Mints Series Book, features 77 Leadership Mints –bite-size ideas to refresh and revitalize your ability to create and collaborate with conviction.

The 3-books
in The Leadership Mints Series
available on Amazon.com
in print and e-book

What is a Leadership Mint?

Consumed like a breath mint — quick and on-the-go — a Leadership Mint is a short story that energizes leadership behaviors and personalizes leadership principles so they are more easily remembered, more readily acted upon and more fully applied.

Leadership Mints Series Sampler Leading With Diamond Precision

What could you learn about your own understanding of leadership if you plotted nine traits of a leader as if they were players on a baseball diamond? Could a visual illustration of the 9 different players —aligned with and interacting with each other – help you better understand and appreciate the precision in their performance and the poetry in their collective behavior?

Let’s find out. Let’s use the leadership traits listed in The Truth About Leadership, a book by James Kouzes and Barry Posner to more fully appreciate the depth and breadth of a leader’s collective skill-set, the energy it takes and the synergy it creates.

But first let’s posit that leading by EXAMPLE is a prerequisite. Now we can allocate the 9 remaining traits (called Truths in the book) on a diagram of a baseball diamond. (The 10 traits are in BOLDFACE CAPS).

Let’s begin with what baseball calls THE BATTERY: the pitcher and the catcher.

The battery generates the energy, spirit and drive of the team. The pitcher (1) sets the tone with a sharing and caring attitude –-LOVE-– and the catcher (2) adopts a FUTURE-ORIENTED mindset perched behind home plate with a clear view of the many variables and infinite possibilities on the entire field of play to capitalize on fleeting opportunities immediately (like throwing a baserunner out trying to steal second base.)

Love is the soul of leadership. Love enlarges lives. Love creates the desire to serve others and to see them grow and become their best.

James Kouzes and Barry Posner

Meanwhile the infield concentrates on the here and now with a get ‘r done mindset.

The infield – first base, second base, shortstop and third base –collectively establish the core competency of the team quite literally have the pitcher’s back in general in fending off the opposition. The core competency of a leader’s infield includes:

CREDIBILITY playing first base.
CONVICTION playing second base.
TEAMWORK playing shortstop and
COMMITMENT playing third base.

Of those four infield positions, CREDIBILITY is the most important.

When you do what you say you will do — on time virtually every time — you earn credibility. The infield not only expects but has come to know that their first baseman (3) will be there in time and in position to make the put out. In 4.3 seconds or less –the time it takes the fastest batter-turned base runner to race to first base after getting a hit.

That credibility in a steady and sustaining performance fuels the other three traits in infield of (4) CONVICTION (overcoming adversity with sense of purpose, (5) COMMITMENT (values and determined focus) and (6) TEAMWORK.

Together the infield synchronizes their actions.

They react instantly and consistently regularly executing double-plays with an efficiency that conjures the Tinker-to-Evans-to Chance poem of yesteryear (1910) that celebrated the timely collaboration among shortstop Joe Tinkers (TEAMWORK), second baseman Johnny Evers (CONVICTION) and first baseman Frank Chance (CREDIBILITY) of the Chicago Cubs.

Outfielders, on the other hand, assume a more anticipatory stance that constantly is evaluating changing conditions. They respond more deliberately, for example in assessing the change (of a fly ball ) in real time more than react instinctively or routinely. Outfielders, by virtue of their position — literally out in the field — have a few more seconds to evaluate a variety of factors (wind direction, speed, trajectory and speed of the ball etc.) in following the flight of a fly ball hit three times farther than those in the infield.

In evaluating, assessing and learning from the ever-changing conditions, the core competency of a leader’s outfield includes:

TRUST playing center field.
ADAPTABILITY playing left field.
AGILITY playing right field.

Step into the center fielder’s shoes. Notice that from your TRUST (8) position you can see the entire field –including the fans (aka followers) virtually all around you. With that expansive view of those who are depending on you, you are more apt to realize your strength as a leader stems from the trust you as the leader GIVE those fans in general and to your teammates in particular. The most effective leaders know that Trust is given. Mistrust is earned.

From your TRUST position in center field, you are more apt to be humble enough to learn something new from your left fielder (7) and more likely to ADAPT with a focus on continuous improvement (LEARNING) and face (CHALLENGES) with the AGILITY of a rightfielder (9) to anticipate and respond to change.

So in summary, we can gain a greater understanding of the synergy in a leader’s behavior when we diagram a leader’s traits on a baseball diamond and connect the dots (aka traits/positions) to both sustain and grow a leader’s authenticity. For example, step on to the pitcher’s mound and you will notice to your left is CREDIBILITY on first base and COMMITMENT on third base.

Now turn around and face your shortstop (6) TEAMWORK on your left and your second baseman (4) CONVICTION on your right.

The baseball diamond diagram also shows that you as the pitcher (1) feed off all of those characteristics with LOVE.

Your love “enlarges lives.” Your love feeds the “soul of leadership” and sustains continuous improvement. Your love endures despite change and challenge. And most importantly your love is treasured more than measured. Like a diamond. Forever.

For more insights on LOVE in a business context, you can purchase a 300-page book filled with 77 short stories (5-minute reads called Leadership Mints) on examples from business, sports and politics.

It’s titled:   LOVING Like a Leader with Empathy– one of three books in The Leadership Mints Series designed to help leaders refresh their feeling for leading. And as a bonus, the postscript titled– BUSINESS: A HUMAN EXPERIENCE — shares the impetus for this book on empathy impacting the bottom line.The two other books in The Leadership Mints Series -now available on Amazon.com — include THINKING Like a Leader with Clarity and SPEAKING Like a Leader with Civility.

The 3-books
in The Leadership Mints Series
available on Amazon.com
in print and e-book

What is a Leadership Mint?

Consumed like a breath mint — quick and on-the-go — a Leadership Mint is a short story that energizes leadership behaviors and personalizes leadership principles so they are more easily remembered, more readily acted upon and more fully applied.

Leadership Mints Series Sampler Beware of your Impulse Behavior

How adaptable are you to changing conditions? Adapting to changing conditions isn’t easy. Just ask the proverbial frog in the simmering pot who is boiled to death.

Surely that kind of mindless behavior – that kind of comfort with conformity without relevant rationale – can’t happen in the real world, can it?  Let’s check the history books.

Consider the soldiers in World War I who were consistently too slow in firing an old horse-drawn cannon even though they both testified they were conducting the firing with the standard protocol. And they were. Habitually.

But now the horses were no longer pulling the cannon yet the two soldiers still stepped back and stood still for a few seconds as if they were holding the horses still before firing. Are you still holding your proverbial horses?

To help you guard against your own impulsive behavior, consider purchasing a copy of a 296–page book now available on Amazon.com.

THINKING Like a Leader, is filled with 77 short stories (5-minute reads called Leadership Mints) of examples from business, sports and politics. THINKING Like a Leader is the first book in the 3- book Leadership Mints Series.

The 3-books
in The Leadership Mints Series
available on Amazon.com
in print and e-book

What is a Leadership Mint?

Consumed like a breath mint — quick and on-the-go — a Leadership Mint is a short story that energizes leadership behaviors and personalizes leadership principles so they are more easily remembered, more readily acted upon and more fully applied.

Leadership Mints Series Sampler: Find Meaning In The Mundane

“What an astonishing thing a book is,” marveled Carl Sagan, the astrophysicist who ignited our appreciation for the vastness of the ever-expanding universe. “It’s a flat object made from a tree with flexible parts on which are imprinted lots of funny dark squiggles.

“But one glance at it and you’re inside the mind of another person, maybe somebody dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, an author is speaking clearly and silently inside your head, directly to you.”

Sagan demonstrates a key to thinking like a leader:   Seek the value in anything and everything.

Find meaning in the mundane. Discover its impact on others. Mine its significance, no matter how long overlooked or discounted. And come to a greater appreciation of its intrinsic value.

That’s why thoughtful leaders step up on The Three-Legged Stool of Thinking to gain a broader vision that spawns new perspectives, new options and a new energy in innovative problem-solving.

THE THREE LEGGED STOOL OF THINKING

 

No wonder the word –science — stems from the Latin scientia, for knowledge and from scire “to know.” To know is first to think. And to lead is first to think. On purpose. For added meaning and significance.

THINKING Like a Leader, is filled with 77 short stories (5-minute reads called Leadership Mints) of examples from business, sports and politics. THINKING Like a Leader is the first book in the 3- book Leadership Mints Series.

All three books in The Leadership Mints Series are designed for busy leaders seeking to refresh their feeling for leading in 5-minutes or less — the average reading of a Leadership Mint. The other two are LOVING Like a Leader and SPEAKING Like a Leader.

The 3-books
in The Leadership Mints Series
available on Amazon.com
in print and e-book

What is a Leadership Mint?

Consumed like a breath mint — quick and on-the-go — a Leadership Mint is a short story that energizes leadership behaviors and personalizes leadership principles so they are more easily remembered, more readily acted upon and more fully applied.

Leadership Mints Series Sampler Fending Off The Debbie Downers

How many people do you know who light up the room when they leave? Those Debbie Downers and Charlie Complainers are magnets of misery always trying to pull you down.  Their pernicious pool of negativity runs deep. How deep? Well, in Roget’s Thesaurus, twice as many words focus on the negative (2,286) than on the positive (1,051). In Sisson’s Synonyms, there are:

6 times as many words that mean “to Break” as there are “to Build” (186-26)

4 times as many words that mean “Sad” as there are that mean “Glad” (110-27)

3 times as many words that mean “Bad” as there are that mean “Good” (465-150).

In The Ten Commandments “No” or “Not” is mentioned 12 times compared to only two positive commands. And twice as many people will be told about a negative experience as a positive experience, according to government customer service survey.

It’s too easy to complain, to chastise, to put yourself down the way Garfield does in the comic strip: “Do you know where I’m residing? Garfield asks. “Bored city, that’s where. But not for long, with a positive mental attitude, I can whip it. I think I’ll make a lateral move — to Self-Pity. Another comic-strip character adds to the Pity Party.

Ziggy says: “Every time opportunity knocks, I’m out in the back taking out the garbage.” And Ziggy adds: “On the highway of life I keep getting stuck in the cul de sacs”.

The most effective leaders know that it’s too easy to see ourselves as helpless, hopeless, worthless, loveless, friendless, faceless and even lifeless.

It’s too easy to growl, glower and grumble. It’s too easy to destroy what is –rather than deploy – what could be. It’s too easy to focus on the inevitability of the mediocre and never even consider the possibility of the meteoric. 

No wonder the most effective leaders embrace the notion that even though scientists can produce absolute zero temperature (-459 degrees) there is no limit on how hot something can get as long as enough energy is available. That’s what leaders do. They…

Create the energy for positive outcomes.
And light the room wherever they go!

THINKING Like a Leader, is filled with 77 short stories (5-minute reads called Leadership Mints) of examples from business, sports and politics. THINKING Like a Leader is the first book in the 3- book Leadership Mints Series.

All three books in The Leadership Mints Series are designed for busy leaders seeking to refresh their feeling for leading in 5-minutes or less — the average reading of a Leadership Mint. The other two are LOVING Like a Leader and SPEAKING Like a Leader.

The 3-books
in The Leadership Mints Series
available on Amazon.com
in print and e-book

What is a Leadership Mint?

Consumed like a breath mint — quick and on-the-go — a Leadership Mint is a short story that energizes leadership behaviors and personalizes leadership principles so they are more easily remembered, more readily acted upon and more fully applied.