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Summond into the top editor’s office for the first time in years, the reporter’s  blood pressure rose and his heart began beating a bit faster. He thought it could only be bad news. He must have screwed up. Or worse: he was getting fired.

              Instead the editor reached into his desk before the reporter could sit down. The editor quickly tossed a small plastic bag toward the reporter who instinctively put up his right hand and snared it right out of the air.  For a second, he thought it might be a bag of pot that someone planted in his desk.

But then he gripped the bag and to his sheer relief it was anything but soft and powdery. No this was hard and gleaming with a golden flair. Then suddenly the booming voice of the editor cut through the tension. “Here, I am supposed to give you that,” harrumphed the editor.

The reporter opened his right hand and found himself holding a 5-year-service pin for his five years of experience working for that newspaper. The reporter sighed in relief as the editor took a phone call and dismissed the reporter with a wave of his hand.

(This is an excerpt of a newly relaunched book titled
LOVING Like a Leader now available on Amazon.com

The young reporter left the editor’s office feeling more like Continue reading


Quality Work: Shoot for the Moon

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to motivate quality behavior. Reading time 3:07.

      She shimmered in the window. Her sleeky figure caught his eye instantly. Then she did something even he wasn’t quite prepared for. She dropped her pants and mooned him!

   hula “Now I knew right then that I just had to have her,” the guy beamed. Oh how vulgar you say. How boorish! How crude and lude. What a A louse!

      No not really. What a leader! Stay with me here.

      He was eyeing a 12-inch hula doll shimmering in the window of a novelty store that he happened to pass. He went inside to investigate and learned that the doll came with with an air pump. You pump and she plumps her pants right down to her derrier – a “shoot-the-moon” demonstration that always seemed to turn heads, widen eyes and flare smiles. Continue reading

Waking Your Hypnotized Chickens

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to focus on thoughtful decision-making.   Reading time: 3:14

             Imagine the power little Johnny had in his finger. He amazed the other kids on the farm who hadn’t yet learned the art of hypnotizing a chicken.

    chicken1Little Johnny would first hold a chicken’s head down against the ground so the chicken would stare straight ahead on the ground. Then he would draw a line along the ground with a stick or a finger outward in front of the chicken.

    The chicken would then freeze, trance-like for up to 30 minutes.  It’s a biological defense mechanism the chicken has evolved to quickly play dead trance-like  whenever it feels threatened.  The suddenly “paralyzed” chicken  then thwarts off  predators very effectively.

   Likewise control-oriented managers  have learned how to paralyze an audience in a deep freeze like trance. With PowerPoint slides.

     PowerPoint is in fact so numbing that the media relations officials in the Pentagon call it –Hypnotizing Chickens—when they show a series of boring and confusing PowerPoint slides for 25 minutes of a scheduled 30-minute news conference. That leaves only 5 minutes at the end for reporter’s questions “from anyone still awake,” notes Thomas X. Hammes, a retired Marine colonel.

      Gen. James N. Mattis of the Marine Corps has had to ward off more than his share of PowerPoint presiding –a.k.a.  “hypnotizing chickens”  antics via PowerPoint. No wonder he flatly states: “PowerPoint makes us stupid.”   Continue reading

Adapt To Be More Adept

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy
Here’s an idea to help you better adapt to new audiences. Reading time: 3:04

        You’re beautiful and your sexy hair, stylish clothes and stunning makeup are just as beautiful. After all, you’re an actress with all the glamour that draws fans on stage and screen.

Audrey Meadows and Jackie Gleason

Audrey Meadows and Jackie Gleason

     So what’s the chances that you would allow yourself to be professionally photographed while you’re wearing curlers, a torn housecoat and no makeup? Audrey Meadows did that and earned the contested TV role as the wife of Ralph Kramden in the Jackie Gleason’s sitcom The Honeymooners in 1955 .

      And in the process, the famous actress of her time modeled a leadership behavior that the most influential leaders follow even today more than a half century later:

Adapt to your audience’s
fears, concerns

and expectations
before you make your presentation,

before you ask for the order or for the job.

       Audry Meadows, the former Broadway musical star in Top Banana, had a method to her madness. She wanted the role of playing Jackie Gleason’s wife in the sitcom. But Gleason was reluctant to even consider her. Continue reading

Knowing Your Rites

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to orchestrate traditional values in your organization. Reading time 3:17.

     The procession of robed professors marched into the convocation ceremony. The lead person carried an ornamental golden staff that immediately attracted the attention of all assembled.

   a maceThat sparkling scepter infused the ceremony with immediate credibility, authority and dignity.

     Leaders know their rites.

     Leaders know that symbols are louder than any cymbals – especially in orchestrating the attention of followers. They know that before you can exercise your rights you have to exercise your rites. You have to showcase your symbols.

     How can you more fully wield your own ornamental staff used in a convocation ceremony? How can you wield your own five –foot long golden staff called a mace? Consider these five ideas to help you turn your organization into a place of even more A-MACE-ING Grace: Continue reading

Becoming a Talent Agent

 By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to leverage your workforce. Reading time 3:37.

      In the movie The Treasure from the Sierra Madre, a robber holds up Humphrey Bogart. The robber wants the two leather bags that Bogart is carrying. He is sure those are filled with gold.

Panning for gold in the movie Treasure from Sierra Madre

Panning for gold in the movie Treasure from Sierra Madre

        However the robber shoots Bogart. He grabs the bags, looks inside and sees only dirt and dust. He is disappointed when he finds no gold. He empties out the dirty bags then rides off in the distance, taking some solace that he at least he got two good leather bags. Oops!

     That wasn’t just dirt and dust that he threw away. You guessed it. There was also gold mixed in with all that dirt and dust. Gold is not shiny. Only fool’s gold–pyrite –is shiny

   How often do you discard valuable talent just because that job candidate in front of you is filled with his or her own dust and dirt?

      That’s why the most effective leaders subscribe to the view of industrialist Andrew Carnegie who said you develop people the same way you mine for gold. “In the gold mine you move tons of dirt to find an ounce of gold,” Carnegie said, “but you don’t go in there looking for dirt. You look for the gold.” Continue reading

Monkeying Around Like a Leader

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to be sensitive to points of view of others. Reading time: 2:43

      Think of your organization and its various employees and departments as so many monkeys in a tree. As the CEO, you happen to be the monkey in the highest seat in the tree.

      Black-capped Squirrel Monkey (Saimiri boliviensis)From your perch, you can look down and see other smiling monkeys. Now think of the lowest monkeys in that tree. When they look up they see anything “butt” smiling faces and they can only assume the organization stinks – at least from that perspective.

      That’s how a low ranking sailor described his view of the organization aboard ship. No wonder that “the key to being a successful skipper is to see the ship through the eyes of the crew,” writes Captain D. Michael Abrashoff in his book It’s Your Ship.

      Yes, you are the Monkey in the Middle. All eyes on are you, looking at you. Your role is to look down more often and imagine what they see looking up. That’s what the most effective leaders do: they look around and monkey around with meaning and perception.

       “Being a boss is much like being a higher status primate in any group, the creatures beneath you in the pecking order watch every move you make and so they know a lot more about you than you know about them,” observes Robert Sutton writing in his book Good Boss, Bad Boss. Continue reading