Leadership Mints Series Sampler On Enriching Others

Awesome, grinned the 5-year-old girl reaching for the small box of crayons the waitress placed on the table while her parents perused the menu in this family dining restaurant. The little girl quickly discovered the interesting shapes and engaging puzzles on the place mat that seemed to captivate her creativity.

But then the little girl served up something that was not on the menu, something her parents found even more nourishing: their youngest child’s empathy for someone other than her immediate family.

“Momma, see that grandpa over there? She pointed to a balding 77-year-old man eating alone in the family restaurant. “How come he’s not together with his family right now like us?

Her mom shrugged her shoulders as if to say that she didn’t know.  “I don’t like it when I am all alone,” the little girl said.

“Well what if you drew something for him?” her dad suggested as she continued drawing and coloring.

The little girl almost immediately began drawing a bright yellow sun on a napkin and wrote in her best lettering HAVE A GREAT DAY!

The dad smiled and enjoyed the goosebumps dancing on his back. He looked across the table at his beaming wife enjoying her own dance with the goosebumps while the girl’s older brother scoffed at how “stupid” his little sister was acting.

“Dad, could I give that grandpa my drawing?” she asked.

 Impulsively, the dad called the waitress over. “Do you see that older man in the corner eating alone? Can you put his tab on ours?

The waitress nodded in the affirmative. “And one more thing, ” the dad added, “could you give him my daughter’s drawing? After all, we all need a little sunshine in our lives.”

         The waitress felt those same goosebumps as she presented the girl’s drawing to the elderly man and notified him that the little girl’s family was paying for his dinner.

He looked at the little girl’s drawing of a sun beaming this sunny messageHave a Great Day! in various colors: blue, orange, green and yellow on a white paper napkin.

He smiled across the restaurant — a smile that lit the faces of that young family in general, a smile that the little girl felt warmer than the sunshine in her drawing. He waved his appreciation and later stopped by their table to personally say thank you.

       Three hours later, the elderly man was still beaming. He felt compelled to share his experience of empathy and joy with a random acquaintance — a cashier — as he finished buying groceries. He pulled the napkin out of his jacket pocket and unfolded its bright sun and even a brighter message. Someone cared.

Have a Great Day

      The little girl’s gesture seemed momentarily to ease the pain of losing his wife of 54 years to cancer a few months before. And the dad’s gesture of paying the “grandpa’s” tab seemed more comforting at that moment to the 77-year-old former business executive than even the comfort of the financial security blanket that kept him warm and secure, a security blanket still filled with hundreds of thousands of dollars in his various bank and brokerage accounts. The elderly man was already a rich man when he walked into the restaurant. He left the restaurant even richer.

         Enriching the lives of others with empathy is a key leadership skill whether with random acts of kindness or well-planned, thoughtfully executed skill development and recognition.

For more ideas on enriching the lives of others with empathy, purchase a 300-page book available on Amazon.com filled with 77 examples from business, sports and politics.

It’s titled:   LOVING Like a Leader with Empathy– one of three books in The Leadership Mints Series designed to help leaders refresh their feeling for leading.

And as a bonus, the postscript titled– BUSINESS: A HUMAN EXPERIENCE — shares the impetus for this book on empathy impacting the bottom line. The two other books in The Leadership Mints Series -now available on Amazon.com — include THINKING Like a Leader with Clarity and SPEAKING Like a Leader with Civility.

All three books in The Leadership Mints Series are designed for busy leaders seeking to refresh their feeling for leading in 5-minutes or less — the average reading time of a Leadership Mint.

The 3-books
in The Leadership Mints Series
available on Amazon.com
in print and e-book

What is 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.

Leadership Mints Series Sampler On a Leader’s Best-Kept Secret

What’s love got to do with it?” sang Tina Turner back in the day. Everything. Especially when you are called upon to lead as a teacher as author Elizabeth Green notes in her book Building a Better Teacher.

The author recalls the advice of a veteran teacher prepping her to teach her first class: “And this maybe the important part. You have to look at them with love in your heart. Once they know you care about them they can relax a lot.”

And no doubt learn more.

Joe Ruhl, a 9th grade biology teacher from Lafayette, IN says “41 years of teaching has taught me a simple truth – that the most powerful motivator in the classroom is a perception on the part of the students that their teacher genuinely cares about them as individuals.”

Caring means he is “passionately committed to the well-being of the other ” as author CS Lewis defined the highest form of love (agape). “I’m not talking of warm, fuzzy, emotional love. I am talking about love that is genuine and – decisional not emotional – and very motivational. And that means you can love your students even when they are not likeable.”

Leading teachers and teaching leaders know the power of love in a business context. That kind of love –committed to the well-being of the other in the classroom or in the boardroom –is genuine and decisional not emotional. That kind of love that puts the other first is well documented in leadership development research.

In fact, love is in the top 10 truths about leadership according to leadership development researchers James Kouzes and Barry Posner in their 2010 book The Truth About Leadership. Moreover, the researchers who have surveyed two million leaders over the last 30 years on key leadership traits note that Love could be considered the No. 1 truth about leadership. Their primary finding:

Leadership is an Affair of the Heart!

“Leaders are in Love with their constituents,
their customers, their clients and the mission they are serving.

The Truth About Leadership, By James Kouzes and Barry Posner

Notice the primary focus on constituents. The word sets a tone of interdependence (a.k.a. love). The dictionary says that the word constituents stems from the Latin “statuere” that means to set up or establish. The word constituent means a person who “authorizes another to act on his (or her) behalf.”

That means only your constituents can validate your leadership authority based on your credibility. And that ‘s why Kouzes and Posner state emphatically in their book The Leadership Challenge –that “love is the best kept secret of successful leaders” and “of all the things that sustain a leader over time, love is the most lasting.”

For more ideas on enriching the lives of others with empathy, purchase a 300-page book available on Amazon.com filled with 77 examples from business, sports and politics.

It’s titled:   LOVING Like a Leader with Empathy– one of three books in The Leadership Mints Series designed to help leaders refresh their feeling for leading.

And as a bonus, the postscript titled– BUSINESS: A HUMAN EXPERIENCE — shares the impetus for this book on empathy impacting the bottom line. The two other books in The Leadership Mints Series -now available on Amazon.com — include THINKING Like a Leader with Clarity and SPEAKING Like a Leader with Civility.

All three books in The Leadership Mints Series are designed for busy leaders seeking to refresh their feeling for leading in 5-minutes or less — the average reading time of a Leadership Mint.

The 3-books
in The Leadership Mints Series
available on Amazon.com
in print and e-book

What is 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.

Leadership Mints Series Sampler On Dancing to YOUR Music

Bloom where you are planted. Imagine you stand all day in a confined booth and serve as a quasi cashier, exercising just one transaction over and over and over and over again.

Back in the day before automation took the boredom out of that kind of routine work for humans, you could see how toll takers would refer to their booths as vertical coffins.

But who says you have to join the walking dead when you step into a toll booth. Why couldn’t you dance while you issued change and tickets to one motorists after another?

That’s what the Dancing Toll Taker told author Charles Garfield, a leadership development authority and one of the 35 essayists in Learn Like a Leader. 

The Dancing Toll Taker even found inspiration in his meager glass-walled booth: “I have a corner office: glass on all sides and I can see the Golden Gate Bridge (from my office.)”

The Dancing Toll Taker, who dreamed of dancing professionally in the movies, had found his purpose. Garfield noted that the Dancing Toll Taker had “found what Archimedes said he would need to move the earth: a lever and a PLACE to STAND.” Even in a booth.

To help you develop your own sense of purpose, consider purchasing a copy of –THINKING Like a Leader , a 296-page book filled with 77 examples from business, sports and politics from Amazon.com.

THINKING Like a Leader is part of the Leadership Mints Series that also includes a 300-page book on empathy filled with 77 more Leadership Mints-LOVING Like a Leader– and a 300-age book filled with 52 more Leadership Mints on civility titled SPEAKING Like a Leader.

All three books in The Leadership Mints Series are designed for busy leaders seeking to refresh their feeling for leading in 5-minutes or less — the average reading of a Leadership Mint.

The 3-books
in The Leadership Mints Series
available on Amazon.com
in print and e-book

What is 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.

Leadership Mints Series Sampler On Employee Retention

Employees join your company but they leave you when seeking greener pastures. So how do leaders retain talented employees?

Money counts but compensation trails 5 other benefits in retaining talented employees, according to researchers.

The top three factors to retaining a talented workforce critical to productivity and profitability are: 1. exciting, challenging or meaningful work 2. supportive management (good boss) and 3. being recognized, valued and respected followed by 4. career growth, learning, and development and 5. a flexible working environment.

That’s why the most effective leaders conduct a PRE-EXIT interview six months after their new-hire’s start date. This “pre” in pre-exit stands for preemptive.

This preemptive exit interview is designed to serve as  a deterrent to a future exit interview that could cost your company twice the salary of your incumbent employee in replacing him or her, according to research.

Opportunity Meeting

How do you conduct a preemptive exit interview? You begin by inviting your employee to an Opportunity Meeting so that both of you can maintain and nurture a mutually successful and growth oriented working environment that in particular meets the needs of the employee.

Your invitation to the employee’s Opportunity Meeting might look something like this as adapted from Love’em or Lose’em by Beverly Kaye and Sharon Jordan-Evans:

You are invited to attend the next step in your continued development.
You make a difference and I value your contributions.
Let’s discuss some things that are important to you and me:

What is most energizing about your work?
Are we fully using your talents?
What is inhibiting your success?
What can I do differently to best assist you?
What might entice you away?
What else could I do to keep you here?

Please schedule a meeting with me in the next two weeks to discuss this
and anything else you’d like to talk about.

You begin that retention process with a keen sense of listening and learning from your direct report to more effectively engage and challenge them and more consistently bring out the best in them to grow themselves and your bottom-line.

Sure the exit door can swing open at any time but at least your ability to appreciate, recognize and respect your employee will help keep that door closed. At least for awhile.

That’s why consistently following up with your direct report is necessary to extend the value of your pre-exit interview and retain your talented employee.

For more ideas on creating a culture of mutual respect in the workplace, purchase a 300-page book available on Amazon.com filled with 77 examples from business, sports and politics.

It’s titled:   LOVING Like a Leader with Empathy– one of three books in The Leadership Mints Series designed to help leaders refresh their feeling for leading. And as a bonus, the postscript titled– BUSINESS: A HUMAN EXPERIENCE — shares the impetus for this book on empathy impacting the bottom line.The two other books in The Leadership Mints Series -now available on Amazon.com — include THINKING Like a Leader with Clarity and SPEAKING Like a Leader with Civility.

The 3-books
in The Leadership Mints Series
available on Amazon.com
in print and e-book

What is 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.

Leadership Mints Series Sampler On Making GOOD in Bad Times

Oh no! Here we go again. More problems. That’s what most of us would say when the flood gates of doom and gloom are crashing down on you.

Not Jocko Willink.

The former Navy Seal and co-author of Extreme Ownership has a definitive 4-letter word response to doom and goom: GOOD!

Forget the pity party. Accept the loss as a learning opportunity. Move on.

Focus on THINKING positively with intent, initiative and innovation.

Beware of POSITIVE thinking that confines your mindset to WISHING for something.

DO SOMETHING!
Seek continuous improvement.

Beware of POSITIVE thinking that relies more on platitudes and a smile. Forge on. With an attitude! And with fortitude as Willink says: .


Got beat? GOOD! We learned.
Oh, the mission got canceled? GOOD!
We can focus on another one.
Didn’t get the new high-speed gear we wanted? GOOD!
… We can keep it simple.
Didn’t get promoted? GOOD!
More time to get better.
Didn’t get funded? GOOD!… We own more of the company.
Didn’t get the job you wanted? GOOD!…
Go out, gain more experience, and build a better resume.

Indeed the most effective leaders make GOOD in bad times.

For more ideas on how you can address setbacks with more strategic process of THINKING positively with your head held high –effectively –rather than a knee-jerk reaction of POSITIVE thinking with your head buried in the proverbial sand—defectively — purchase a 296-page book filled with 77 examples from business sports and politics available on Amazon. com. It’s titled THINKING LIKE A LEADER.

All three books in The Leadership Mints Series are designed for busy leaders seeking to refresh their feeling for leading in 5-minutes or less — the average reading of a Leadership Mint. The other two are LOVING Like a Leader and SPEAKING Like a Leader.

The 3-books
in The Leadership Mints Series
available on Amazon.com
in print and e-book