Category Archives: Productivity

Stirring Your Leadership With Half & Half

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy
Here’s an idea to inspire more collaboration. Reading time: 4:14

      “This was a tough nut to crack,” the leader declared in launching her staff meeting to celebrate the successful product launch on time and under budget.

    walnut nut cracker   “In fact, this was such a tough nut, I thought we should have some fun this afternoon cracking a few nuts to celebrate your achievement.”

        Her staff seemed perplexed if not confused.

       The team leader then passed out a bowl of unshelled nuts to each of her seven team members. Then she distributed a nutcracker –the metal vice-like hand tool—to each staff member.

      The staff looked quizzically to each other. They wondered if their team leader had cracked under all the pressure.

     But then the leader led by example. She began cracking the whole nuts. There were almonds, brazil nuts, hazlenuts, pecans and walnuts. And with all that nut-cracking, the staff meeting room erupted into a cacophony of snaps, crackles and pops. Continue reading

Game On: Turn on Your Shot Clock

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to help you become more decisive. Reading time: 3:44

         It’s the NBA –the National Basketball Association—in action. Pistons vs. the Lakers. And the Pistons win, 19-18 in the lowest-scoring game in NBA history.

         a b shot_clockOf course that’s back in 1950,  four years before the introduction of the 24-second shot clock that changed the game of professional basketball and gave us all an interesting insight into effective leadership:

       Deadlines are Lifelines.

       Without a deadline –without a shot clock counting down that specific deadline to spark a specific action–both teams could stall the game and literally play by themselves, keeping the ball away from the opposing team.

         So players could in essence play catch with each other and frustrate their opponents until making the best percentage shot.        They had way too much time on their hands and did what comes natural in those circumstances—nothing.

       Until Danny Biasone stepped in. The owner of the Syracuse Nationals had enough of this pass-the-ball –around style of basketball. As a leader he wanted to see action. Continue reading

Factoring in Outside Influences

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to keep you aware of all factors in decision-making. Reading time: 3:15

          Factoring outside influences is the hallmark of the most effective leaders. To remind yourself of how effective those outside influences are in your decision-making, think of the airplane heading from Miami to Fargo, ND.

         coriolisIf the pilot kept the original heading out of Miami the plane would have landed 500 miles to the east of Fargo near Detroit. That’s why pilots have to factor the Cariollis Effect– the rotation of the earth–into their flight plans.

         And that’s why the most effective leaders know the significance in making minor adjustments at the beginning of a project that have a wide-ranging impact.

     It’s finesse more than force marks that drives a leader’s strategic adjusting. Consider sailing a boat or riding a horse.

In sailing a boat, alignment stems more from the strategically timed and thoughtful adjustment of the trim tab than from gripping the tiller or grabbing the wheel in haste.

        Continue reading

Leadership Lessons from Bees ‘n Bugs

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to learn how to leverage your resources. Reading time: 3:21.

      Study bees and you can glean some intriguing leadership lessons from the way they work together.

     BeeYou can also learn leadership tips from a variety of insects — from grasshoppers, ants, and fruit flies to caterpillars and termites. Consider these nine ways to “bug” your business for greater success.


      Bees have distinct roles. There are the worker bees and the explorer bees.Worker bees are Harvesters and explorer bees are Harbingers, defined as one that pioneers or initiates a major change.” And the explorers (Harbingers) are designed to fly and find new sources that the workers bees can harvest. Leadership Lesson: Don’t try to be something you are not meant to be. Continue reading

Collaborating Nose-to-Nose

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to help you increase your productivity. Reading time: 3:42

       Two percheron horses were pulling a wagon load of people through an apple orchard on a sunny, crisp fall afternoon.

       horsesThe  driver of the horse-drawn wagon said that individually each horse could pull almost 3,000 pounds. But together they could pull 8,000 pounds, at least 33% more than they could pull individually.

       The horses learned how to interact with each other, how to work with each other.  They learned how to move like dancers in step with each other.

       They learned to get ahead they had to stay head to head. In tandem. Nose to nose.

      No wonder horses are more easily trained when they can touch noses with other horses. Nose to nose, they are more productive. Nose-to-nose, they are more attentive.

       And no wonder that aligning talent nose-to-nose –collaborating –is a key leadership skill for increased productivity and performance. The most effective leaders know that collaborating in general increases speed, enhances power, builds strength and increases overall performance. Continue reading