Category Archives: Listening


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

That’s why the most effective leaders invest in the Friendly Five every day Continue reading

Opening Up Your Open Door

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to broaden your strategic thinking. Reading time: 4:32

     It seems absurd. A waste of time. An undermining of your authority as the CEO, the Chief Executive Officer.

     Door of Opportunity   Why block out an hour a week to meet privately –face-to-face–with ANYONE in your company? For up to 7 minutes. On any issue. At their request.

        How can those open-ended, shot in-the-dark meetings with any employee — not your direct reports – be worthwhile?

        Consider positioning these meetings as 7- minute Creative Business Building Discussions with you. Topics could  range from new product ideas to new market initiatives and yes even to highly emotional personnel issues affecting the selection, grooming and growing of future leaders.

      Sure you’d be opening your Open Door Policy so wide the complainers and disgruntled will likely game the system at first.

      But the most effective leaders know that in opening themselves up so widely they also open the company up to new ideas that could generate new revenue streams for you to initially navigate. Continue reading

Overcoming the Deafening Sounds of Silence

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to think more clearly under pressure. Reading time: 3:22.

         The pioneers, circling their horse-drawn wagon trains after riding all day, would beat on pots and pans at night to keep away much more than the wolves.

         In the eerie silence, they also had to fight off even more voracious and nefarious wolves.  In their minds.

          wagontrainThese wolves of the mind, crying in the desolate darkness, gnawed at the hearts and souls of the pioneers with psychological spears more than merely sharp teeth.

         These wolves of the mind, moaning and groaning in the vast hinterland,  tore at the guts of the pioneers to stomach the overwhelming odds of settling the West.

        These wolves of the mind,  howling in the isolated blackness and blankness of the night, slashed and scratched at the hopes of the pioneers with a frightening, debilitating vengeance that philosopher Blaise Pascal called a devastating “nothingness.” Pascal observed:

 “All the unhappiness of men arises
from one single fact
that they cannot stay quietly
in their own chamber.

 ‘Nothing is so insufferable
to man as to be
completely at rest
without passions, without business,
without diversions, without study.
He then feels his nothingness,
his weakness and his emptiness.”
      Continue reading

Keeping Your Powder Dry: Up Close & Personal

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to enhanced your listening skills. Reading time: 2:54.


            A Eye_iris  “Don’t speak until you can see the whites in their eyes.”

             That could be the business leader’s equivalent of Colonel William Prescott’ s orders at the Battle of Bunker Hill : Don’t shoot until you see the whites in their eyes.”

          Indeed holding your tongue while getting physically closer to your complaining customers, to your competitive colleagues, to your demanding superiors, to your frustrated employees and/or to your dissatisfied stockholders etc. is critical.

        Don’t speak until you can first get close enough to listen to them clearly with a heightened awareness that makes your eyes — and their eyes– glisten.

         The closer you are, the more your ears — and their ears —will listen to each other; the more your eyes– and their eyes– will glisten with each other. Continue reading

Negotiating With Your Talking Stick

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

 Here’s an idea enhancing your listening skills to become a more productive negotiator. Reading time: 2:24.

           They glared at each other sitting across the table in an intense negotiating session.  Their screaming match still echoing in their ears from the last time these two negotiators met.

Orchestra Conductor Wields his Baton

Orchestra Conductor Wields his Baton

Baton Twirling

Baton Twirling

        Finally one of the negotiators broke his stare, reached down and placed a long, slender, sheathed  object on the table. The opposing negotiator winced and pushed himself back from the table at what he thought could have been some type of weapon.

        “Relax,” smiled the negotiator as he slowly unsheathed his curiosity object.

        No it wasn’t a knife. Or a mini sword. It was a two-foot long stick that looked more like an orchestra conductor’s baton than a baton twirler’s instrument of choice.

        It was a Talking Stick.

       “No, it’s not a weapon,” smiled the negotiator as he methodically placed the carved wooden staff that looked like a mini-totem pole on the table between them. “It’s a tool to help us both listen better to each other so that we can both get what we need out of our negotiating.”

      The opposing negotiator pulled himself closer to the table and leaned in and said: “Well, now we are getting somewhere. How does this tool work?”

       The negotiator then formally introduced The Talking Stick to his fellow negotiator. “The person holding The Talking Stick holds the floor, ” the first negotiator said. “He or she speaks and everyone else must listen until he or she decides to give The Talking Stick to the another person.”

         The second negotiator was intrigued. “You know I have heard of The Talking Stick before. Didn’t the native American Indians use a Talking Stick in their meetings,” the second negotiator asked? “Yes, yes,” said the first negotiator. “One of my mentors from a lot of years ago gave me this Talking Stick,” said the first negotiator, “and I thought it might be of some utility to us today.” Continue reading