Check Your Attitude Indicator On the Fly

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy
Here’s an idea to conduct on-going feedback to enhance mutual performance. Reading time 3:37.

        Flying an airplane, a pilot gets immediate feedback on the plane’s flight performance from a gauge in the cockpit aptly called an Attitude Indicator.

        attitude2 indicatorThe Attitude Indicator features a graphic of an airplane on a gyroscope that gives the pilot a visual orientation of the airplane to the horizon.

        That graphic of the airplane on the Attitude Indicator tells the pilot if the plane’s tilt (pitching) is too high or too low;  if the plane’s  yaw of the nose left or right is off mark and if the plane’s roll (banking) is out of balance side to side.

        Feedback in real-time is vital to a pilot. And to a leader. Continue reading “Check Your Attitude Indicator On the Fly”

Take Me to Your Leader

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy
Here’s an idea to differentiate your managing and leading skills. Reading time 3:57.

        Take me to your leader. Remember those old science fiction movies you watched as a kid?  Those invaders from outer space never said: Take me to your manager.”

     take-me-to-your-leader Why? Managers focus on the NOW. Leaders focus on the NEW. As Peter Drucker famously noted  that managers (NOW) do things right while leaders do the right (NEW) things.

      In today’s ever-changing business environment proficient managing—good planning, budgeting, organizing and controlling- is necessary but no longer sufficient as John Kotter, the Harvard professor observed in his book The Leadership Factor. “One also needs good visions, strategies, coalitions and motivation to deal with competitively intense business environments.”

      Indeed all leadership development begins with your intensive managing skills to cope with changing conditions. Then leaders get involved and they evolve their decision-making  from a focus on changing conditions to  conditioning change.

     When you condition change, you adapt and adjust to the swirl of the world around you. And you evolve into a never-ending, always-engaging focus on continuous improvement. But it takes two to tango on the ever-changing dance floor of change.

     You can’t be a good manager without FIRST being a good leader.   And you can’t be a good leader without FIRST being a good manager.

      Managing and Leading are two sides of the same coin—the coin all leaders need to polish on both sides –IN ORDER to consistently open the gate into the C-Suite  for you and other developing leaders.

     To help better define, differentiate and distinguish your progress from managing to leading, study the following 24 behavioral comparisons.  They are  rhymed to make a more significant deposit long-term in your memory bank.

Continue reading “Take Me to Your Leader”

Engineering The Work Environment

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to enhance productivity. Reading time: 2:32

Obelisk in Central Park, New York City
Obelisk in Central Park, New York City

      You’re an engineer 3,500 years ago in Egypt. And you’re trying to transport the famous obelisk –Cleopatra’s Needle—from Alexandria to Rome.

      You miscalculate the length of rope that you would need to lift Cleopatra’s Needle off the ground. The rope is too long. The winches can’t be tightened (shortened) any more.

      But then the leader in you comes to the rescue.

      You pour water on the ropes. The added humidity shortens the ropes. And you can then lift the 68-foot tall monument off its pedestal.

      The most effective leaders are like environmental engineers. They nurture the working environment to enhance productivity.

      Leaders as environmental engineers, develop the chemistry among employees, customers, stockholders and management, especially when the organizational chemistry must be held in a delicate– often ironic — balance. Continue reading “Engineering The Work Environment”

Practicing the Rhythm Method

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to help you achieve more with less. Reading time: 3:25

      Fred Astaire danced his way out onto a golf course driving range in the 1938 movie Carefree.

     golf swing Without missing a step, he picked up a golf club and swung at six balls each teed up and lined side by side.  He swung six consecutive times. All six shots landed on the green. The film crew was amazed. Fred Astaire had a rhythm—a sense of momentum that drives the productivity of all leaders.

      With a sense of rhythm, leaders get on a roll where it seems everything can be accomplished and nothing is impossible. With a sense of rhythm, leaders focus more on the task at hand like the military chants at boot camps when the soldiers are marching or running: “Sound Off 1-2, Sound Off 3-4, Cadence Chant, 1-2-3-4.”

      That chanting–that rhythm– powers passion and purpose; promise and performance. That’s why Nikos heralds rhythm in Zorba the Greek . Watching the seagulls , he beams : “That’s the road to take; find the absolute rhythm and follow it with the absolute trust.”

      That’s what leaders do. Leaders find the absolute rhythm and follow it with the absolute trust.

      Leaders quickly get into the swing of things. They flow with the action. They “let” it happen as the Zen philosophers espouse. In a rhythm. With a purpose. Practicing the rhythm method, leaders purposely give birth to well-conceived ideas optimally timed and targeted rather than struggle with unplanned  consequences they may have to ruefully pursue or regretfully abort.

           Continue reading “Practicing the Rhythm Method”

Planting Your Diversity Roots Deeper

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to enhance diversity in your thinking. Reading time: 3:56

       It was a working lunch. The vice president saw a teaching opportunity as she held her fork like a conductor’s baton over his tomato and alfalfa sprouts salad.

     alfalfa-sprouts-with-tomato “Take a good look at the alfalfa sprouts crawling in, around and through this salad,” the vice president told her staff. “Not very appetizing. No wonder that straw-like fiber is more often fed to dairy cows, beef cattle and horses.”

      She paused, then looked around the conference table and allowed the conundrum to settle in  and asked: “So why am I eating it?” The vice president noted she likes the crunchy texture that offsets the soft tomatoes which she called “a little diversity for the taste buds.” But even more pertinent, she said alfalfa is one of the most nourishing greens on earth. It has more percentage of protein than beef.

      “And why?” the vice president wondered. Again she paused for a dramatic affect and then added: “Because its roots reach deeper into the soil than any other herb.   At least 10-20 feet and even at times up to 100 feet. “

     The vice president then sharpened her focus and her teaching point for her team on the significance of pairing this crunchy, deep-rooted,  protein-rich alfalfa with a soft tomato.  “It takes a deep root system to utilize all the different nutrients in the soil to produce a quality salad like this,” said the vice president. “What if we could extend our roots deeper throughout our organization to leverage even more and different nutrients  to produce even greater quality work like this alfalfa and tomato salad?”   Continue reading “Planting Your Diversity Roots Deeper”