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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

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Let Cooler Heads Prevail

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to cool off when tempers get hot. Reading time: 2:14

       You trade insults with a rival in the heat of battle. You’re mad as hell. And then all’s well.

a anger        Fiction, you say? Not to the most effective leaders who may lose their tempers at times but never lose their thermostats. They can lower the temperature before they explode in a blaze of MY WAY OR THE HIGHWAY.

        Consider President Harry S. Truman and union leader Al Whitney during the 1946 Congressional campaign. They traded barbs. Their blistering vocal bombs fueled lots of hurt feelings and negative press attention.

    Two months later they found themselves face-to-face in a scheduled meeting at The White House. The union boss was clearly nervous. After all, he had derided the President of the United States as “nothing but a ribbon clerk” during the heated congressional campaign.

            Historians tell us when the two met, Truman greeted the union leader warmly. “It’s good to see you, Al. You look wonderful.” And the President established his leadership and set the tone for the rest of the meeting.  “Let’s not waste time discussing the past,” Truman posited. “Let’s just agree we both received bad advice.” Continue reading

Speak Softly and Carry a Big Schtick

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to help you reprimand others more productively Reading time: 2:32.

       Speak softly and carry a bit Schtick.cigar That’s what the most effective leaders do in reprimanding performance: they argue without being argumentative. They speak with a well-thought out Schtick –a process or routine —  as the dictionary defines “Schtick.”

           And with their well-honed Schtick, leaders learn to dictate without dictating; rule without ruling, boss without bossing and gain more of a command without commanding. Consider these three examples of the leader’s schtick in reprimanding others.

         The Smoking Reprimand Schtick

         Four veteran supervisors in your manufacturing plant are taking their smoke breaks in the entrance to the building in violation of the company policy.

           Over the next two weeks, you notice more employees and those same supervisors in that plant taking their smoke breaks in the same entry way — at least 100 feet from the designated smoking area.

Continue reading

Conflict Management: Disagree Agreeably

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to help you face an adversarial audience. Reading time: 2:46

     It’s scary. You step up to the podium and all you hear are boos. All you see are sneers. And all you feel is tension.

      conflictYou wonder if you just stepped on a guillotine. After all, this audience can’t stand to look at you much less listen to you.

      That’s when the most effective leaders demonstrate how to disagree agreeably.

       Mark Antony, literature’s conflict management poster boy, provides a template for taming a hostile audience in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar.

       The backstory: Antony is mourning the death of his friend Julius Caesar. But the public is celebrating the death of what they perceived was an overly ambitions ruler. Antony addresses the public at the burial of Julius Caesar. In Act III Scene 2, Antony sizes up the crowd and finds a way to side with them right from the start:

 ‘Friends, Romans, countrymen,
lend me your ears; I come to bury Caesar,
not to praise him. The evil that men do
lives after them. The good is oft interred
with their bones. So let it be with Caesar.’’

      Antony skillfully disagrees so agreeably that he finds common ground. He’s one of them. Continue reading

Give “Bad” Employees The VIP Treatment

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to help keep talented employees engaged . Reading time: 6:37.

           The retail clerk energetically raced into work and eagerly awaited taking charge of his cash register.

           He couldn’t wait to start serving his customers with a personal banter that turned the tedious jobs of both the shopper and the cashier into something more fun. He was good at what he did and everyone around him – his bosses, his peers, and his customers—knew it.

         Business was slow on this early Sunday morning. His cash register would remain silent—at least for now. His magic wand – the scanning device—would not dazzle anyone right now.

        With no customers in sight, he began sweeping and cleaning his cashier’s station. But there wasn’t any magic in that and he got bored.  He needed something to do. His boss noticed.

       The boss asked his star performer to abandon his cashier role and serve as a greeter at the main entrance. There were still no customers to greet but at least he would have a chance to interact with everyone who came into the store. And maybe create some magic.

      Continue reading

Conflict Management: Get Off Your Buts!!

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to help you maintain control in a conflict. Reading time: 2:11.

         I always smile when I think of the scene in  Star Trek the Motion Picture  where Spock and Dr. McCoy are reunited on the starship for the first time in years.   McCoy — the affable people-oriented physician —  sniffs at Spock — the cold, aloof, analytical half human science officer: “You are as warm as ever and you haven’t changed.”

Spock in the Star Trek television program

Dr. McCoy in the Star Trek television series.

         And Spock, his voice dripping with equal sarcasm, retorts: “Nor have you changed, doctor, as your continued predilection for irrelevancy demonstrates.”

        Feuding like that between McCoy and Spock — born in personality differences and bred in a high-stress work environments, is bound to happen in any organization whenever and wherever highly intelligent, ambitious, opinionated people come together. The key for effective leaders is knowing how to deflect and defuse accusatory language.

      After all, it’s too easy to look for the negative in any situation; too easy to find a flaw in the situation;  too easy to change the tone of discussion from upbeat to beat-up; too easy to say, “Yes….but…”

      That’s why the most effective leaders I have known get off their “buts!!!” They conquer conflict with something more than the standard “Yes….but” mantra. They turn their ‘buts” into ‘ands.”

          Continue reading

Conflict Management : Throw ’em a LIFE line

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mint Guy

Here’s an idea to get your proposals approved in a negative environment.

         “I don’t like it one bit,” groused the president after reviewing a  proposed policy from one of his vice presidents. The vice president stood firm as the president shot his proposal down like a  gunslinger in those old Western movies in a duel at high noon. The vice president fired back but his bullets of information seemed to bounce harmlessly off the president.  The vice president left the office depressed and dejected. The president felt misunderstood and abandoned. Nerves fried. Egos frayed.

         Resolving conflict in the executive suite is modus operandi. As leaders we know that we are supposed to first seek to understand then to be understood as Stephen Covey conveys  so well in his Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. But you and I both know that resolving conflict is easier said than done.

        We jab and jaw to get our ideas heard, understood and acted upon, yet too often our ideas are dead on arrival. Here’s a way to pump LIFE in to those proposals . LIFE is an acrostic for: Listen, Investigate, Feel, and Explore. Continue reading