Category Archives: Meeting Magic

TRAINING Magazine Publishes The Leadership Mints Guy

         a training magPeter Jeff, the author of LEADERSHIP MINTS and founder of this blog that spawned the book now available on, shares ideas on Sustaining a Culture of Leadership Development in the  current issue of TRAINING MAGAZINE (May-June, 2014) dedicated to the top companies providing Leadership Development for leaders at all levels.

       Here is the full-text of his Leadership How-To column in the largest magazine in the nation serving leadership development trainers and coaches. (Photos are used in this blog only).

Sustaining a Culture
Leadership Development

Tactics to help leaders habitually develop other leaders and more consistently
reinforce leadership principles in everyday activities.


       Helping leaders develop other leaders is a mindset that may formally start in a leadership development program but it’s a process nurtured over time and nourished through an array of everyday behaviors.

      Collectively these behaviors sustain a culture of leadership development that broadens the scope of leadership thinking beyond those who have been appointed and anointed. Such a culture of leadership development also engages and encourages followers to discover and deploy the leader in themselves.

      Consider the following ideas—on meeting rituals, artifacts, symbolism and institutional memory– to propagate a robust leadership development culture rooted in mutual trust and share values that are understood, applied and acted upon.


        clock Open staff meetings on a regular basis with this same question: “What are you reading these days for your own personal enjoyment?” Then close each meeting with a reference to something you are reading for your own personal enjoyment that provides your staff an insight into your values, concerns and interests.

        Rotate Meeting Leaders among your staff. The designated Meeting Leader de jour sits in the “leader’s chair.” The titular incumbent leader participates as member of the team.

        Prior to the meeting, the Meeting Leader de jour consults with the titular incumbent leader, develops the agenda, assigns any prep work and designs and promotes a meeting theme.

       Then the Meeting Leader de jour conducts a Leadership Learning Minute, a 60-second concept, quote or book reference on leadership thinking specially selected to foment the meeting theme.

Continue reading

Leading with your After Dinner Mints

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to help more fully engage your listeners. Reading time: 3:51

      “And that’s the way it is…” Walter Cronkite, closed every CBS television news nightly broadcast with that phrase.


Walter Cronkite

      Those 6 words signaled to all his viewers not simply the conclusion of his broadcast but the authenticity of what they had just experienced.

      That phrase —“And that’s the way it is”– repeated every weekday night gave a ring of familiarity that threw a proverbial security blanket around his viewers.

      His mantra –decisive on principle and incisive on purpose — made his audience feel special, that they had been part of something tailored specifically for them.

       No wonder the most effective leaders know how to define and deliver closing phrases like that give greater meaning to their presentations. Continue reading

Shoveling Snowflakes After Key Meetings

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to help you take more control over changing dynamics. Reading time: 2:56

          So what if your desk is buried beneath a paper blizzard of memos, reports etc ? Consider shoveling a few more “snowflakes” around to stay more alert and ready when the winds of change swirl even harder.

snowflakes      Counter-intuitive?

       Not to Donald Rumsfeld, the former corporate  CEO and a two-time Secretary of Defense.

       Rumsfeld shoveled a daily dose of 20-60  snowflakes.

       That’s the term his staff gave to the flurry of followup memos and notes-to-self he would dictate and  they would print and distribute after every key meeting Rumsfeld attended.

       Call it Meeting After Care Instructions–some 20,000 snowflakes in his career that his staff carefully and meticulously filed and tracked in an extensive tickler system–so that he could more fully lead no matter how windy the conditions.

          Some snowflakes were one-line long. Others were 2-3 pages that captured an idea at the meeting and projected outcomes that needed his followup.  All of his snowflakes were designed to maintain a keen focus on the objectives, timelines and milestones of a key decision. Continue reading

Sapere Aude: Dare To Be Wise

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to break down communications barriers. Reading time: 4:35

      “Respice adspice, prospice. See you on the 24th at 9 am.” Potius sero quad numquam.”

      Latin_plaque_7_Jul_1883That’s the entire note that a vice president e-mailed to each member of his staff under the subject line: Your Annual Review. Only the specific time changed on each personalized e-mail.

     The vice president clearly got his staff engaged—if only to force them to look up the translation of the Latin phrases.

       He knew he was late again in conducting annual reviews. He also knew his tardiness last year and the year before that rubbed off on the staff so much that annual reviews had become perfunctory minimum salary increases. They no longer bought into the management notion that the annual review served as a strategic assessment tool that would turbo-charge their personal careers and enhance the overall viability of the company.

       The vice president knew he had to change that mindset. His own leadership viability depended on it.

       His mea culpa (my fault)  rekindled new vitality in the annual review process with an e-mail note that invited his staff to really examine where they are and where that want to go in their career. The English translation: “Look and examine your past, present and future.” Then after inviting each to a specific meeting date and time, he wrote “Better late than never.” Continue reading

RIGHT ON! Making Your Name Tag Stick

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to help you wear your name tag more strategically. Reading time: 2:46

          You’re standing in the registration area of a major meeting or convention. Look around.  You’d think a wind storm blew through the way the conventioneers are wearing their name tags: Every which way.  Left- sided. Right- sided. Lop-sided. Who cares? Leaders do.

        name-tag  Leaders know there is a RIGHT way to wear a name tag albeit the preponderance of overwhelming evidence on the left.

          On the left, many stick name tags on their chest as if it were a carnation or a gardenia boutonniere blossoming in their lapel.

          On the left,  many stick name tags on their chest as if it were the base for the ever-present flag pin waving on a politician’s lapel like a red white and blue flower positioned –of course –directly over the heart.

         On the left, many stick name tags on their chest as if it were manifesting a corporate logo squarely on the blazer’s left pocket in all its splendor.

         And on the left, many stick name tags on their chest as if were another medal of honor amid other decorative ribbons and military plumage strutting proudly with the same zeal that commands attention be paid to a General. Or to a Secretary of State.

          Who can ever forget the broaches and other decorative pins that Secretary of State Madeline Albright showcased prominently on her upper left side as a symbol of the kind of work she was doing that day—punitive (snake pins etc) or  remunerative (butterfly pins etc)?

         Yet most effective leaders know that when it comes to sticking name tags on: RIGHT MAKES MIGHT.

         The most effective leaders know their name tag should be clipped, pinned or pasted on their RIGHT chest close to the shoulder. Why? To make it easier for the person to read your name tag while shaking your hand and maintaining relatively more eye contact with you.  Continue reading