Savoring Leadership Mints With Chopsticks

Remember the first time you used a pair of chopsticks? Chances are you ended up with a splattering of sweet and sour sauce on your shirt or blouse.  No wonder.  You were trying to “manage” that morsel of Hunan chicken into your mouth.

Later you learned how to use both chopsticks at the same time to manage AND lead simultaneously to get the food into your mouth with no splatter.

Mastering chopsticks demands both stability (management) AND flexibility (leadership) at the same time as you can see in the following basic steps to eating with chopsticks:

  1. Hold the lower chopstick firmly against your middle finger.
  2. Hold the upper chopstick as you would hold a pencil.
  3. Keep the lower chopstick steady (manage for stability) while moving the upper chopstick up and down (lead with flexibility).

That dichotomy — one chopstick stationary and the other chopstick moving — takes some getting used to. So does managing and leading at the same time.

You need both skill sets to be effective in either discipline. You need stability — planning, budgeting, organizing and controlling or management. And you also need flexibility — values, vision, creativity, caring, sharing, framing and strategic positioning or leading.

(This is an excerpt of a newly relaunched book titled
LOVING Like a Leader now available on Amazon.com

 

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Swimming In Your Personal Fishbowl

Reputation has to be consistently earned over time. After all it’s too easy to get too comfortable swimming in our personal fishbowls personally and professionally and forget that others are looking in–from all sides, at all times. And significantly, what the public sees is not actually what the insiders see. (This is adapted from Mint 45 in  THINKING Like a Leader, Featuring 77 Leadership Mints).

After all, you can get pretty comfortable in your own fish bowl—as long as someone (investors and customers) keeps feeding you and as long as someone (employees) keep changing/cleaning the fish bowl with new products and services.

That’s why the most thoughtful leaders and engaged employees have a knack for looking at themselves as the public perceives them and as the public relates to them. No wonder the Public Relations Society of America defines its profession as building “mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.”

Far from spin doctors, public relations professional are “applied social scientists who advise a client or employer on the social attitude to take to win the support of the publics upon whom its vitality depends,” according to Edward Bernays, credited with founding the  that public relations professional in the 1920s.

The most effective leaders realize they can’t be successful with self-serving, defensive, insider-oriented spin control. They realize how grossly inaccurate, shortsighted and misleading it is to equate relating to the public (a.k.a. public relations) with seeking to spin a web of prevarication instead of a quilt of mutual understanding and acceptance to live and let live in your personal fishbowl. Productively. And profitably.

WHAT’S 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.

Like its candy counterpart, a LEADERSHIP MINT is easily spooned, quickly digested and immediately reinvigorating.

 

That’s the intent of a Leadership Mint, a quick pick-me-up via a short entertaining 5-minute story that provides a key tip or technique to handle a leadership issue ranging from conflict management to emotional intelligence.

The first book in the Leadership Mints Series (THINKING Like a Leader) featured 77 Leadership Mints on creativity, collaborating and concentrating.

 

The second book in the Leadership Mints Series (LOVING Like a Leader) featured 77 Leadership Mints on compassion, connection and conviction.

And the third book in the Leadership Mints Series (SPEAKING Like a Leader), slated for release on September 25, 2018, features 52 Leadership Mints on credibility, memorability and capability.

REWARD More Than AWARD

Summond into the top editor’s office for the first time in years, the reporter’s  blood pressure rose and his heart began beating a bit faster. He thought it could only be bad news. He must have screwed up. Or worse: he was getting fired.

              Instead the editor reached into his desk before the reporter could sit down. The editor quickly tossed a small plastic bag toward the reporter who instinctively put up his right hand and snared it right out of the air.  For a second, he thought it might be a bag of pot that someone planted in his desk.

But then he gripped the bag and to his sheer relief it was anything but soft and powdery. No this was hard and gleaming with a golden flair. Then suddenly the booming voice of the editor cut through the tension. “Here, I am supposed to give you that,” harrumphed the editor.

The reporter opened his right hand and found himself holding a 5-year-service pin for his five years of experience working for that newspaper. The reporter sighed in relief as the editor took a phone call and dismissed the reporter with a wave of his hand.

(This is an excerpt of a newly relaunched book titled
LOVING Like a Leader now available on Amazon.com

The young reporter left the editor’s office feeling more like Continue reading “REWARD More Than AWARD”

FLOWER POWER: BEE-ING A LEADER

Think of yourself as a bee pollinating flowers every morning when you make your Friendly Five rounds. That’s the way Walt Disney characterized his leadership style.

Disney compared himself to a bumble bee “going from one area in the studio to another to stimulate everybody.”

Pollinating the blossoming of others is an instructive metaphor for the essence of a loving leader.

No wonder the most effective leaders schedule no formal meetings for at least the first hour “in the office.”

(This is an excerpt of a newly relaunched book titled
LOVING Like a Leader now available on Amazon.com

That’s why the most effective leaders invest in the Friendly Five every day Continue reading “FLOWER POWER: BEE-ING A LEADER”