Leadership Development: Jockeying for Position

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to help you continuously improve your skill sets. Reading time: 3:38

      They’re off and pacing. The race horses explode out of the starting gate and head for the first turn: 16 horses jockeying for position.

     harness racing1 harness racing3What if your leadership skills were like those 16 different horses in the starting gate, each jockeying for position?

     And what if you thought of your next annual review as if it were the finish line in a one-mile race. By the quarter-mile mark (in 90 days), you would have a pretty good idea just how  skillfully you are leading all 16 different horses or just how woefully you are just along for the ride.

       But of course your chances of winning the race, of performing well through the remaining 3/4 of a mile — throughout the remaining 9 months of completing your annual review — will depend on how well you anticipate and compensate for challenges ahead to your leadership skills and your ability to shore up your weaknesses and affirm your strengths literally on the run — in the heat of battle– and against vigorous countervailing interests.

Conduct a Quarterly PREVIEW

               That’s why the most effective leaders conduct a QUARTERLY PREVIEW — more than simply an annual review — in evaluating their staffs’ skills on the job. Career Development then becomes a visionary process–an on-going race to a non-existent finish line– more than a punitive report card on a random calendar date 12 months away. (And how may “annual” reviews are conducted 3-6 months late? Too many.)  Small wonder the word — career—stems from the French word for a race course.  Continue reading “Leadership Development: Jockeying for Position”

Keeping Your Oars In the Water

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to stay focused on increased performance. Reading time: 2:37.

        You won. But you’re not done. Not yet. Leaders don’t take time to rest— no matter how good the profit margin; no matter how prolific the units sales, no matter how pre-emptive the new product launch. There’s just TOO MUCH left to do.  Going forward.

       EDITED OAR  At least that’s the assessment of Lee Iacocca who led Chrysler from the brink of bankruptcy.  “Never rest on your oars as a boss, if you do, the whole company starts sinking.”

        The most effective leaders intuitively know they need to continuously improve.  Consistently  perform. Persistently progress.  After all:

  • Karate practitioners, the day after their black belt exam, are expected to be on the mat the next day practicing, improving  and improvising.
  • Artist Grandma Moses would finish a painting and then 10 days later study it to see where she could improve and improvise.
  • Author James Michener was asked to name his favorite book among the more than 35 he had authored. Michener said:  “My preference is always the next book” where he could improve and improvise.

    Abraham Lincoln always kept his oar in the water even when it seemed his boat was sinking. The president quickly paddled his way out of his situation, no matter how devastating the defeat or how exhausting the effort or how hopeless the condition. Keep rowing. Continue reading “Keeping Your Oars In the Water”

Continuous Learning: Leaders Take It Personally

 By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to increase your learning potential. Reading time: 3:17.

      As a boy, Thomas Edison once sat on a geese eggs for hours to learn for himself how eggs are hatched. Bizarre?  Peter the Great wore an engraved seal when he became the first Russian czar to tour Europe on a learning expedition. The seal read: “I am a pupil and need to be taught.” Weird?


      Not really. Leaders are learners.

       Leaders embrace William Ward’s contention that “curiosity is the wick in the candle of learning.” The most effective leaders continue to learn and earn their Ph.D – their Personally Harbored Discipline. And “Discipline” is a key leadership talent. The word –Discipline–stems from the Latin word for learning and learners (Disciples). Continue reading “Continuous Learning: Leaders Take It Personally”

Conquering Mount Everest In Your Mind

By Peter Jeff
Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to help  you keep pursing your goals despite setbacks. Reading time:  1:54.



Mount Everest (20,029 feet) — tallest mountain in the world.

      You failed. Again. Now what? Take heart  Leaders assess the situation and see what most people don’t see.

     That’s what hope is all about. Leaders keep hope alive no matter how dismal the immediate circumstances.

      Consider this scenario the next time you find yourself on the short end of the stick, deep in the hole, behind the 8-ball, pick your cliché.

      All you know is that you have failed and you’re hurting.  But not for long.

         Imagine that you try and  fail  to climb Mount Everest three times.  On your third attempt an avalanche kills seven members of your mountain climbing team.

      Continue reading “Conquering Mount Everest In Your Mind”

Roads Scholars: Playing Smarter On Their Turf

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to help you stay focused and heighten your performance. Reading time: 2:29.

         You just lost your home court advantage. Your client now wants to meet on their turf. And you’re frustrated. Now you won’t have as liberal access to subject-matter experts and top management to help you hold your client’s hand.

         Well hold on Sales Sensation! Your loss of venue could be your gain in revenue. You could make the sale even more effectively playing an “away” game.

       Chances are you’ll focus even harder on the client’s needs in much the same way a magnifying glass can narrow sunlight and broaden its capability to start a fire. That added focus could help you win that sale more productively and profitably in an “away” game.

          At least that’s how pro basketball super star scoring sensation Michael Jordan assessed the added focus required to win an “away” game. And he should know.

        Jordan’s  Chicago Bulls became the first team in National Basketball Association to win the first two games –away –en route  winning their third straight NBA Finals Championship against the Phoenix Suns in 1993.

        “On the road our focus is better because the odds are not in our favor,” said Jordan , whose Chicago Bulls won a total of three games on the road in Phoenix including the Championship Final. “We focus better whenever we have to face bad odds (on the road).”

         Continue reading “Roads Scholars: Playing Smarter On Their Turf”