Leadership Mints Series Sampler On Enforcing Company Policy

Miffed, the customer shook his head in disgust as he continued to load his can goods and cereal boxes in the checkout lane. Then he got mad and glared at the cashier in exasperation.

The cashier had just informed the customer of the grocery store’s policy: one package of toilet paper per customer during the Coronavirus crisis.

The customer was determined to thwart the store’s policy. He passed the second package of toilet paper to his 6-year-old daughter at the end of the lane and told her to start walking down to the self-serve checkout area. The customer ignored the cashier’s protest.

The irate customer paid for his groceries including one package of toilet paper. And then he hightailed it down to the self serve checkout. The cashier notified the manager. And the manager confronted the customer standing in line at the self-serve checkout with a second package of toilet paper.

If you were the store manager in this situation, how would you have enforced the company’s one-to-a-customer policy?

Do you intervene commando style, grabbing the pilfered product and making sure the offending customer gets the message with your authoritative voice and  demanding demeanor?

Or do you hop on your guilt-ridden horse and try to embarrass the offending customer into submission?

Or do you intervene with a softer collegial style that tries to reason with the offending customer with your pleading, puppy-dog  eyes?

Or do you do something completely different like this manager did with her rigid body language, stiff neck and an even a stiffer spine?

The manager’s stern, beady eyes projected a hard-nosed, bull-headed posture that seemed to defy her 5-foot-2-inch stature.

She stood an-arm’s length away from him, virtually in his face. And stared UP at him for longer than the 3.3 seconds that research shows creeps people out.

Finally her Medusa-like stare — a stare that could turn others into stone, according to Greek mythology — caught his attention. He looked DOWN to her.

They were locked in a staring contest for what seemed like another creepy 3.3 seconds. Their staring contest seemed to evince the gritty fortitude of attentive soldiers standing guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers. Neither would budge. Or blink.

Finally, the manager spoke softly and confidently (although later she admitted that she had to masked her shaking hands and minimize her fear).

“You know I can’t let you have that package on THIS SHOPPING trip.” She stood firm and silent. Her stern eyes seemed like so many daggers digging into his eyes as she counted to herself 1001, 1002, 1003. Finally the offending customer blinked. He said simply: “I know.”

He handed the package of toilet paper to her and left with his dignity still in tact.

And the manager left with her authority recognized. Her stern look had enforced her company’s policy without causing a scene that would make other shoppers feel less than secure and jeopardize future revenues. Her stern eyes –like so many shining stars — had shed some light on the darkest hour of that customer confrontation.

So the next time you are about to get into a shouting match with a customer, defer to your eyes as so many stars to speak for you as the situation darkens, tempers flare and nerves fray.

Be stern —serious, unsmiling, frowning, poker-faced, severe, forbidding, grim, unfriendly, sombre, grave, sober, austere, dour, stony, flinty, steely, unrelenting, unyielding and unforgiving —as the dictionary defines stern. And become a managerial star in your own right. After all, the German word for star is stern.

For more tips on leveraging body language to persuade others, consider purchasing a copy of SPEAKING Like a Leader, the 300-page book now available on Amazon.com.

SPEAKING Like a Leader is part of the Leadership Mints Series that also includes a book  on creativity —THINKING Like a Leader , a 296-page book filled with 77 Leadership Mints and a 300-page book on empathy filled with 77 more Leadership Mints-LOVING Like a Leader.

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 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 On Becoming a Teacher

What if you are suddenly thrust into the role of a teacher, either home-schooling your children in these days of staying at home in the fight against the coronavirus crisis or filling in for a quarantined colleague? What’s the first thing you need know to lead others as a teacher?

Yourself.

At least that’s the insight of Parker J. Palmer writing in his book The Courage to Teach. Effective teaching like effective leading is rooted in the identity and integrity of the teacher/leader.

“Knowing myself is as crucial to good teaching as knowing my students and my subject. Good teaching requires self-knowledge,” Palmer says.

Here are 3 questions that  Harvard professor Thomas DeLong poses in his book Teaching By Heart to get to really know yourself as a teacher:

How do you experience other people?

How do other people experience you?

How do others experience themselves
when they are with you?

Veteran teachers — and leaders –know only too well that their emotional intelligence, their ability to sense the feelings of themselves and others around them –is critical to their ultimate outcome: learning something new or leading others toward a new way of thinking.

And to know others well, you first have to know yourself as philosopher a Lao-Tsu noted: He who knows much about others may be learned but he who knows himself is more intelligent.

For more ideas on enriching the lives of others with empathy, purchase a 300-page book available on Amazon.com filled with 77 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.

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 time of a Leadership Mint.

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 On Enriching Others

Awesome, grinned the 5-year-old girl reaching for the small box of crayons the waitress placed on the table while her parents perused the menu in this family dining restaurant. The little girl quickly discovered the interesting shapes and engaging puzzles on the place mat that seemed to captivate her creativity.

But then the little girl served up something that was not on the menu, something her parents found even more nourishing: their youngest child’s empathy for someone other than her immediate family.

“Momma, see that grandpa over there? She pointed to a balding 77-year-old man eating alone in the family restaurant. “How come he’s not together with his family right now like us?

Her mom shrugged her shoulders as if to say that she didn’t know.  “I don’t like it when I am all alone,” the little girl said.

“Well what if you drew something for him?” her dad suggested as she continued drawing and coloring.

The little girl almost immediately began drawing a bright yellow sun on a napkin and wrote in her best lettering HAVE A GREAT DAY!

The dad smiled and enjoyed the goosebumps dancing on his back. He looked across the table at his beaming wife enjoying her own dance with the goosebumps while the girl’s older brother scoffed at how “stupid” his little sister was acting.

“Dad, could I give that grandpa my drawing?” she asked.

 Impulsively, the dad called the waitress over. “Do you see that older man in the corner eating alone? Can you put his tab on ours?

The waitress nodded in the affirmative. “And one more thing, ” the dad added, “could you give him my daughter’s drawing? After all, we all need a little sunshine in our lives.”

         The waitress felt those same goosebumps as she presented the girl’s drawing to the elderly man and notified him that the little girl’s family was paying for his dinner.

He looked at the little girl’s drawing of a sun beaming this sunny messageHave a Great Day! in various colors: blue, orange, green and yellow on a white paper napkin.

He smiled across the restaurant — a smile that lit the faces of that young family in general, a smile that the little girl felt warmer than the sunshine in her drawing. He waved his appreciation and later stopped by their table to personally say thank you.

       Three hours later, the elderly man was still beaming. He felt compelled to share his experience of empathy and joy with a random acquaintance — a cashier — as he finished buying groceries. He pulled the napkin out of his jacket pocket and unfolded its bright sun and even a brighter message. Someone cared.

Have a Great Day

      The little girl’s gesture seemed momentarily to ease the pain of losing his wife of 54 years to cancer a few months before. And the dad’s gesture of paying the “grandpa’s” tab seemed more comforting at that moment to the 77-year-old former business executive than even the comfort of the financial security blanket that kept him warm and secure, a security blanket still filled with hundreds of thousands of dollars in his various bank and brokerage accounts. The elderly man was already a rich man when he walked into the restaurant. He left the restaurant even richer.

         Enriching the lives of others with empathy is a key leadership skill whether with random acts of kindness or well-planned, thoughtfully executed skill development and recognition.

For more ideas on enriching the lives of others with empathy, purchase a 300-page book available on Amazon.com filled with 77 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.

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 time of a Leadership Mint.

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 On a Leader’s Best-Kept Secret

What’s love got to do with it?” sang Tina Turner back in the day. Everything. Especially when you are called upon to lead as a teacher as author Elizabeth Green notes in her book Building a Better Teacher.

The author recalls the advice of a veteran teacher prepping her to teach her first class: “And this maybe the important part. You have to look at them with love in your heart. Once they know you care about them they can relax a lot.”

And no doubt learn more.

Joe Ruhl, a 9th grade biology teacher from Lafayette, IN says “41 years of teaching has taught me a simple truth – that the most powerful motivator in the classroom is a perception on the part of the students that their teacher genuinely cares about them as individuals.”

Caring means he is “passionately committed to the well-being of the other ” as author CS Lewis defined the highest form of love (agape). “I’m not talking of warm, fuzzy, emotional love. I am talking about love that is genuine and – decisional not emotional – and very motivational. And that means you can love your students even when they are not likeable.”

Leading teachers and teaching leaders know the power of love in a business context. That kind of love –committed to the well-being of the other in the classroom or in the boardroom –is genuine and decisional not emotional. That kind of love that puts the other first is well documented in leadership development research.

In fact, love is in the top 10 truths about leadership according to leadership development researchers James Kouzes and Barry Posner in their 2010 book The Truth About Leadership. Moreover, the researchers who have surveyed two million leaders over the last 30 years on key leadership traits note that Love could be considered the No. 1 truth about leadership. Their primary finding:

Leadership is an Affair of the Heart!

“Leaders are in Love with their constituents,
their customers, their clients and the mission they are serving.

The Truth About Leadership, By James Kouzes and Barry Posner

Notice the primary focus on constituents. The word sets a tone of interdependence (a.k.a. love). The dictionary says that the word constituents stems from the Latin “statuere” that means to set up or establish. The word constituent means a person who “authorizes another to act on his (or her) behalf.”

That means only your constituents can validate your leadership authority based on your credibility. And that ‘s why Kouzes and Posner state emphatically in their book The Leadership Challenge –that “love is the best kept secret of successful leaders” and “of all the things that sustain a leader over time, love is the most lasting.”

For more ideas on enriching the lives of others with empathy, purchase a 300-page book available on Amazon.com filled with 77 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.

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 time of a Leadership Mint.

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 On Dancing to YOUR Music

Bloom where you are planted. Imagine you stand all day in a confined booth and serve as a quasi cashier, exercising just one transaction over and over and over and over again.

Back in the day before automation took the boredom out of that kind of routine work for humans, you could see how toll takers would refer to their booths as vertical coffins.

But who says you have to join the walking dead when you step into a toll booth. Why couldn’t you dance while you issued change and tickets to one motorists after another?

That’s what the Dancing Toll Taker told author Charles Garfield, a leadership development authority and one of the 35 essayists in Learn Like a Leader. 

The Dancing Toll Taker even found inspiration in his meager glass-walled booth: “I have a corner office: glass on all sides and I can see the Golden Gate Bridge (from my office.)”

The Dancing Toll Taker, who dreamed of dancing professionally in the movies, had found his purpose. Garfield noted that the Dancing Toll Taker had “found what Archimedes said he would need to move the earth: a lever and a PLACE to STAND.” Even in a booth.

To help you develop your own sense of purpose, consider purchasing a copy of –THINKING Like a Leader , a 296-page book filled with 77 examples from business, sports and politics from Amazon.com.

THINKING Like a Leader is part of the Leadership Mints Series that also includes a 300-page book on empathy filled with 77 more Leadership Mints-LOVING Like a Leader– and a 300-age book filled with 52 more Leadership Mints on civility titled SPEAKING Like a Leader.

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 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.