Concentration Champions: Creating Your Team Thinking Room

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to enhance your ability to concentrate. Reading time: 2:52.

          In the comic strip Family Circus a little girl is sitting in a movie theater with her mom. Mother and daughter are watching the coming attractions. Suddenly a ghost screams across the screen. The little girl gasps at the scene from a horror movie. Frantically, she climbs into her mother’s lap.

  “Mommy, mommy, hold me. I’m scared.” Her mother comforts her. Sniffling and rubbing her eyes, the little girl blurts: “I don’t mind the scary stuff on TV at home because I can put a blanket over my head.”

        Effective leaders always have that proverbial blanket at hand to block out any distractions. They preserve and protect a secure and safe environment for their staffs to work more creatively and comfortably despite the occasional “scary stuff.”

       The most effective leaders I have known even designate Thinking Rooms –creative concentration centers –where staff can escape the rigors of the workday and focus their thoughts.

      These effective leaders think of these Thinking Rooms the way Winnie The Pooh regarded  his Thoughtful Spot: as a haven to concentrate with all the vigor of Auguste Rodin’s famous 7-foot tall bronze sculpture The Thinker.

         Continue reading “Concentration Champions: Creating Your Team Thinking Room”

It’s Showtime Every Day & You’re the Emcee

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to help you enhance your talent development skills in others.

         Who’s your ideal leader? It’s a question I get all the time in my leadership seminars. My answer always stumps a few people in the audience: Ed Sullivan.

         Yes, the same Ed Sullivan who brought us the Beatles and various other talents from jugglers to dog acts into our living rooms in the 1960s.  Live. On national television Yes, the same Ed Sullivan, who told millions of CBS viewers about the “really, really, really big show” that was in store for them EVERY Sunday evening.

Ed Sullivan Meets the Beatles
Ed Sullivan shakes hands with Michael Jackson

          Ed Sullivan was more than a master of ceremonies was. He was an emcee of the highest order: an MC — a Meaningful Connector– who not only brought a variety of talent together but also gave it a focus and a framework that captured the attention of millions.

         As the leader, Ed Sullivan emceed excellence by helping the audience (i.e. customers) connect more fully to the product (performance) and by helping the performers (the employees) more fully develop a total quality production.

       As the leader, the emcee, Ed Sullivan was the FOCAL point but not the focus. He always turned the spotlight on everyone else.

      As the leader, the emcee Ed Sullivan appreciated Continue reading “It’s Showtime Every Day & You’re the Emcee”

Meeting Magic: Fire Up the Troops With Passionate Introductions

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to get your meetings off to more productive start.

            Most meetings end before they begin. In sheer confusion, frustration and exasperation. “A waste of my time,” they grouse. And no wonder. The meeting agenda skipped the foreplay.

           No I’m not trying to appeal to your prurient interests. Only to your persuasive interests as a leader to get the extended attention and retention of others. And sometimes that means blowing your own horn!

             Trumpet the treasure to come, much like “Hail to the Chief” commands the audience attention at the entrance of the President of the United States.

            Let’s have a little fanfare for the common man at your next meeting. Invest a little passion and energy into enthusiastically introducing your first meeting presenter.

          Too many meetings open with a boring statement of the purpose of the meeting or the proverbial toss of the baton “okay now let me turn the meeting over to….”

          No, no, no. Boring. Continue reading “Meeting Magic: Fire Up the Troops With Passionate Introductions”

Turning a Meeting Into A Clutch Performance

This is the 10th of a 10-part series on Customer Leadership.

In this LEADERSHIP MINTS series, we celebrated  the 100th anniversary of Steelcase Inc. (founded March 16, 1912) and salute their Customer Leaders (a.k.a employees). Those highly motivated Customer Leaders have consistently helped the Grand Rapids, Michigan-based company reign as the office-furniture industry leader for most of its 100 years in business. 

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an example of a Customer Leader who  demonstrated customer loyalty.

          The guest dining room at Steelcase Inc.’s corporate headquarters was set in spectacular style. There was the finest china, the shiny silverware, the sparkling crystal glasses —— and a corroding carburetor, a bent fender and other assorted aging motorcycle parts of days gone by . A 10-foot-wide banner hung on a wall:

Harley-Davidson, More than a Machine.

         Mary was there to serve the executives from the famous motorcycle manufacturer more than lunch. The professional waitress served them a few of her own fond memories of riding Harleys. She wore an appreciative smile as bright as the rose on the black Harley Davidson scarf she wore that day. Mary glanced at the leather jackets and a leather skirt that she had on display in the dining room.

       She smiled at the memory of riding on the back of her brother‘s Harley to high school so many years ago. Her eyes glistened as she scanned the carburetor and the fender from a friend’s Harley that she had put on display in the dining room like so many artifacts from a unique and rewarding culture. “It really is more than a machine,” said Mary. “And I am so honored to be serving you today because your company has served me so many great times, so many fond memories, so many great friends over the years.”

       Continue reading “Turning a Meeting Into A Clutch Performance”

Productivity: Making your Meetings POP

By Peter Jeff
Leadership Mints Guy
Here’s an idea to help you conduct more productive meetings.

        Do your meetings snap, crackle and POP with collaborative thinking and unbridled enthusiasm?

       Are you smirking right now at the notion of every meeting you attend ACTUALLY being  worth your time and attention?  Then, come with me ye Meeting Martyr.

       Let’s leave Yawn City behind.

       Let’s journey together to Meeting Magic Land: A Meeting Land where participants stay alert and engaged, where meetings POP with more than an agenda, with a Purpose, an Outcome and a Premise (POP for short.)

     Most meeting planners do an adequate job of defining the purpose of the meeting with a traditional agenda. But only the most effective  leaders in my experience cogently capture the premise of a meeting for its participants.

     And the premise is what makes the meeting POP.

Continue reading “Productivity: Making your Meetings POP”