Leadership Mints Series Sampler On UNDERSTANDING

  He who knows much about others may be learned.
But he who understands himself is more intelligent.”

Philosopher Lao Tsu

How understanding are you as a leader?

Do you take the time NECESSARY to understand yourself and others before making an intelligent decision?

Or are you too busy “getting things done?”

Chances are your busy schedule has virtually discounted — or worse yet, discarded– your focus on gaining insight more than information, on seeking a more strategic cause and effect  rather than settling for a quick fix.

And now your to-do list — on developing your sense of understanding — remains more OUT standing than outstanding.

And why not? Of course, you’ve got too many fires to put out to take time for fire prevention.

But what if you could get more things done even better the more you focused on understanding yourself and others more fully, the more you focused on understanding the situation and circumstances you and your people are facing in real time?

After all, according to the teachings of  Confucius: the highest type of man (and woman) is born with understanding.

The next highest Continue reading “Leadership Mints Series Sampler On UNDERSTANDING”


Leadership Mints Series Sampler: On Credibility From Civility

Whoa there Motor Mouth!

Civility opens the door to credibility where it’s not how loud you shout that gives you clout but what your audience thoughtfully hears, critically believes and clearly concedes that ultimately leads. Collaboratively.

With civility, you ratify your right and their right  to be heard without vilifying each other for what they heard.

With civility, you defend your point of view without dismissing another’s point of view.

With civility, the most credible speakers are quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger as James writes in the Bible (1:19).

And with civility, leaders anticipate the questions and concerns of the audience to fertilize even more common ground.

That’s why the first step in parlaying your power in speaking like a leader is to strengthen and sharpen your sense of empathy: your ability to participate with others in their ideas and feelings. Then you will argue less and listen more.

Then you will seek a mutually satisfying solutions that balances the needs and concerns of both parties.

That’s why the most effective speaker/leaders seek a compromise based on integrity and anchored around an inherent promise to treat their listeners/followers with dignity and respect.

That PROMISE  to others is instructive in the way the most effective leaders earn credibility through civility.

After all, the word PROMISE is clearly prominent in the word compromise.

When you make and keep your promises, your credibility soars Continue reading “Leadership Mints Series Sampler: On Credibility From Civility”

Leadership Mints Series Sampler: Becoming a Verdant Leader

Maybe we should call Servant leaders Verdant Leaders.

At least that would focus on growing others more than simply serving others.

After all, there still are some would-be leaders who cringe at the term Servant Leader.

To them, the word “servant” suggests menial tasks such as waiting on tables,  bed service at a fancy hotel (chocolate mint et al) or even gassing up your vehicle back in the day. Can you believe it? Gas stations used be called service stations where an attendant filled your car up with gas while washing your car’s windshield.

But Servant Leadership is not simply about feeding — or fueling — others to keep them on the go.

It’s about ful-filling their needs to help them grow and –in the process– grow your bottom line.

Servant Leadership is helping your employees spread their proverbial roots Continue reading “Leadership Mints Series Sampler: Becoming a Verdant Leader”

Leadership Mints Series Sampler: Creating The Mood for Success

Lovers know it. Would-be leaders forget it. And too many wanna-bees ignore it.

It is foreplay of the business kind.

It is the kind of leadership behavior that establishes a mood, ignites a dynamic and mutually satisfies any negotiation: from gaining buy-in for a merger to pitching a new account.

Walk into any grocery store and you’ll immediately get a leadership lesson up front and center in establishing the mood that creates a more conducive grocery shopping experience for the customer and a more profitable business transaction for the grocery store.

Consider the produce section that is always positioned close to the entrance.

It is bathed in lights glistening in an array of orange, green and red colors. Spot lights beam everywhere like a Broadway production, shining on the oranges and grapefruits, cucumbers and tomatoes so intently you almost expect them to break out into a song and dance.

(That’s last paragraph is way over the top, but that’s the point. So is the following exaggeration:}

The lights lure you in closer and closer. Almost seductively.

You feel the smooth skin of a cucumber.You feel the round, breast-like shape of an orange. You smell the enticing aroma of a banana. Your hands seemed to be automatically squeezing. Your mouth involuntarily sucking. Your hands automatically caressing  the fruits and vegetables.

You can’t resist. You fill your cart with oranges and bananas. And now you feel empowered to say good bye to the Jolly Green Giant and start courting Sara Lee.  You are guilt free. Mission accomplished!

The retail store management is thrilled: they sold you more fruits and vegetables than you had planned to buy.

And they empowered you to feel less guilty in filling your shopping cart with chips, cookies, and cakes etc during the rest of your trip to the grocery store. They set the mood for success.

For more ideas in establishing a winning culture that continually sets the mood for success, consider purchasing a 280-page book that is available now on Amazon.com.


That book on thinking like a leader is the first of three books in The Leadership Mints Series designed to help leaders refresh their feeling for leading with short stories (called Leadership Mints) you can grab ‘n go  like a candy mint.

The two others books focus on leading with empathy LOVING LIKE A LEADER and leading with civility SPEAKING LIKE A LEADER.



Leadership Mints Series Sampler: AIRING YOUR MESSAGE

Remember the first time you got the urge to play your air guitar?

That’s body language  — a genuine outer expression of an inner impression.

And it comes from the heart and soul based on authentic feelings.

Guitarists in particular and music fans in general note that playing the air guitar first took root in America in 1969 when authentic feelings flowed on stage at Woodstock.

At least that’s how Smithsonian magazine’s April White captures the vibrations and rhythm of the first air guitar performance on a public stage.

“Joe Cocker could feel the music channeling through his body as he began his final number on the Woodstock stage.

“With one hand the singer mimed the song’s opening piano notes, and then as the drums kicked in, Cocker lifted his left arm and swung his right in front of his body in perfect time with the dramatic first chords of his hit:

With a Little Help From My Friends. There in front of  hundreds of thousands Joe Cocker was playing the air guitar.”

Authentic gestures — like Joe Cocker ‘s impressive and expressive 51-second air-guitar playing — project a sense of integrity and sincerity.

Authenticity like that earns trust and credibility from an even more engaged audience.

And authenticity like that stirs greater memorability and mobility from an even more motivated audience to act on your message.

Indeed your body speaks long before you do.

To help you develop even more authentic body language in general and presentation skills in particular, consider purchasing a copy of SPEAKING Like a Leader, a 298-page book now available on Amazon.com.

SPEAKING Like a Leader is part of the Leadership Mints Series that also includes a book  on creativity —THINKING Like a Leader , a 284-page book filled with 77 Leadership Mints and a 300-page book on empathy filled with 77 more Leadership Mints-LOVING 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.

What ‘s 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.