Category Archives: Commitment

Why Would Anyone Follow You?

Why would anyone follow you as their leader if you didn’t control the financial  reins on their bank accounts and mortgages?

The CEO was stumped.

He had never thought of that before: what if all my employees were volunteers? Why would they follow me if they weren’t being paid?

Here is how James Kouzes, the long-time leadership development researcher and co-author of The Leadership Challenge, responded to that intriguing question in a radio interview with Kate Ebner on the Voice America Business Channel.

 “They would follow you because you build trust.

You foster collaboration.

 “You model the way, set a good example, challenge the process, are clear about your values, your vision for the future, and your ability to enlist others in your vision.

      “You make other people feel strong and capable.

And you search for opportunities to grow, innovate and improve.”  

To help you as a leader develop that trust and collaborative spirit that would inspire your employees to follow you even if they weren’t being paid (at least in the short run), consider savoring the 77 Leadership Mints — bite-sized ideas to freshen your feeling for leading in LOVING Like a Leader available on

LOVING Like a Leader, With Empathy — the second book in the Leadership Mints Series –develops your emotional intelligence to better listen and relate to others with compassion, connection and conviction. Readers savor 77 Leadership Mints, bite-sized ideas that like a candy mint are quickly accessed and immediately refreshing your feeling for leading.

Get Your Copy of LOVING Like a Leader

Get Your Copy of LOVING Like a Leader

Loving Those Who Served



Methodically and precisely the former fighter pilot in World War II steered his grocery-cart scooter into the checkout lane. He grimaced as he gripped the soup can in his cart. The pain shot through his frail 85-year-old hand like so many bullets. Wincing, he dropped the can of soup on the conveyor belt with a thud!

The sound caught the attention of the customer in front of him. The 40-year-old abruptly turned his attention from the cashier scanning his groceries to the elderly man behind him. The younger man seemed captivated both by the cap the octogenarian wore and the compelling message it bore:  WWII Veteran. Something stirred deep in the soul of the younger man.

Continue reading

From To Do to DUE To

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

                   Here’s an idea to better align your goal-setting. Reading time 3:07.

             Goals. The leader scrawled the word—goals—so quickly on the marker board the “a” and the “l” fused together to look like a “d”.

           a roadThe word –goals – looked very much like the word –gods. That Freudian slip was not lost on the leader and her strategic planners conducting a goal-setting business meeting.

    Like religion, goals are often infused with a dogma and a fervor that inspires a martyr-like dedication to the hallowed script of goal-setting: the To Do list.

            But the most effective leaders realize you commit first to a DUE To list, long before you develop a To Do list.

            A DUE TO list is comprised of long-range commitments that bring goals into a clearer, more realistic focus based on well-defined values.

           A DUE TO list keeps your goals on track: well connected to the Train of Thought and fully linked to the Engine of Purpose.

              Like a train, effective goal-setting is a process of linking not listing— linking a list of things To Do to a clearer rationale that is DUE TO a higher purpose. Continue reading

Wearing Your BVDs in Public

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy
Here’s an idea to help you strengthen the power of your beliefs. Reading time: 3:34

     Leaders are willing to wear their BVDs in public for all to see. Your BVDs are who you are underneath it all. B for Beliefs. V for Values. And D for Disciplines.

        beliefs2As Max De Pree writes in his book: Leadership is an Art: “Managers who have no beliefs but only understand methodology and quantification are modern day eunuchs.” Ouch!

      The dictionary says that a eunuch is a man who has had his sexual organs removed. Secondary definitions underscore the political futility of a eunuch as one who lacks virility or power.

     Even though De Pree’s observation some 25 years ago is obviously sexist and hardly politically correct, the concept is still valid. Leaders without beliefs call into question their manhood, their humanity.

     BeliefsIf they can’t stand up in public for something—in their BVDs—then no one can stand with them. Without people standing with you or following you, you are no leader.

     So the most effective leaders grow their beliefs, their values and their disciplines (i.e. a regimen that develops or improves a skill) in their gardens of curiosity. There they learn what interests them, what sparks their passion, what drives their thinking, what heightens their vision, what invigorates their involvement and what ultimately validates their existence.

    Continue reading

Change Only What Can Be Changed

                 By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s a reminder that your span of control is limited. Reading time: 1:24

 a swim        Try this says one leader to the other: “Lift your right foot off the floor and make clockwise circles with it. Now, draw the number 6 in the air with your right hand.”

          The second executive tries to comply but to no avail. As soon as she tries to draw the number 6 and twirl her foot clockwise, her foot changes direction.  She tries again. Same result.

          Doctors say this is a pre-programmed response in your brain. No matter what you do you cannot override it.

       You can’t outsmart your right foot when you are trying to write the number 6 in the air. You’ve been preprogrammed. Your response is always dialed in. You have no choice.

          Doctors also have studied a related exercise: try to simultaneously rotate the index fingers of both hands in the same direction (clockwise or anticlockwise). Do it slowly at first, then faster, and faster. Pretty soon, they’re going in opposite directions.

          The twirling legs and fingers exercises illustrates a leadership thinking tenent: that some things are so hard-wired, it makes no sense to try to change it.

      The most effective leaders focus only on what they can change, what they can influence. Naturally. The leadership lesson is clear: Pick your fights– strategically —with a credible vision and an achievable mission.

      That’s what leaders do. Then they will  more readily get a leg up on the competition.  Then they will more readily circle the competition — clockwise or counter-clockwise.  And then they will more readily achieve their objective: Twirling a  Deep Six weapon of choice in any direction.

Today’s ImproveMINT

Beware of predictive thinking to keep your leadership thinking in mint condition.

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