Stripping Down to Toughen Up

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to help become more aware of your surroundings. Reading time: 2:35.


           You’re virtually naked hunting buffalo on horseback with a bow and arrow. Your loincloth (a.k.a. a breechcloth) offers you little protection or comfort. By design.

          The Sioux Indians dressed for success on the hunt. They knew their regular clothing would be detrimental to their buffalo-bagging mission.

          They knew their regular “street” clothes would get in the way when they tried to load an arrow into their bows, especially on the run.  Buffalo could outrun horses.

        The  Sioux buffalo hunters also knew they could grip the horse more securely with their bare legs and therefore shoot more accurately.

       Leaders learn quickly like the Sioux that they have to strip down to toughen up.  The most effective leaders understand the more they figuratively bare it the better they can bear it. They don’t have to  hide behind committees, reports, or a phalanx of  assistants.  Continue reading “Stripping Down to Toughen Up”


Too Pooped to Pop? Try Heavy Breathing

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to energize your leading skills. Reading time: 2:06

          You’re tired. You’ve worked hard all day in budget meetings. You can’t wait to get home, grab a cool one and put your feet up. On the treadmill or exercise bicycle.

Handball player in action

           Leaders make the time every day to do some heavy breathing of another kind, enough heavy breathing to virtually blow away the cobwebs in their brains so they can think more clearly and lead more convincingly.

       Heavy breathing is the key according to scientists who tell us your brain regularly consumes more than 30 percent of your body’s oxygen even though it comprises only 3 % of the body’s weight.

      You’re sucking in  8 quarts of air per minute right now as you sit still to read this. Go for a walk and you triple that air flow. Go for a run and you increase it 625% —to 50 quarts per minute!

     With their heavy breathing from exercise, leader even add a touch of magic  to their performance.  Just ask Houdini the great magician and escape artist. Continue reading “Too Pooped to Pop? Try Heavy Breathing”

Letting Go: Turning your Burdens into Bridges

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to repurpose your resources for greater productivity. Reading time: 1:41.

          I tripped while out for my daily run on a country road a few years ago and found myself with a rare view of leadership in action– a view that gave me a  better understanding of how leaders turn burdens into bridges.

       Come and take a peek with me.

Ants are strong. This cheerio is at least five times the size of the ant.

             I’m face down on the pavement, virtually eye to eye with an ant– a strong and determined ant — hauling a load four times longer than itself. Then the burden became insurmountable.

       The ant stood staring at a huge crack in the road, a chasm too wide and too deep to walk across –a chasm that seemed to doom this expedition of carrying the equivalent of a 24-foot long telephone pole to you and me.

        But the ant solved the problem, creatively, productively, counter-intuitively. The ant, struggling to get a grip, let go. Continue reading “Letting Go: Turning your Burdens into Bridges”

To Quench Your Thirst for Success : Stir

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to help you take more decisive action. Reading time: 1:46.

          “Yucky,” the little girl said, after taking a sip of her iced tea at a restaurant. Her mother intervened: “You have to put sugar in that.”

          The little girl tore two packets of sugar and poured them into the iced tea while her mother was busy taking care of her two other children. The little girl tasted the iced tea again. “Yucky!” The girl’s mother looked up and said matter-of-factly. “You have to stir it.”

        How many leaders have the right ingredients but forget to stir it? Taking action is critical. As the wit said,”Indeed, God may have given us the ingredients for Our Daily Bread but He still expects us to do the baking.”

   Just Do It

       Turn up the temperature on your oven. And get started baking. Don’t worry about next steps. Focus on THE NEXT step.

     Don’t worry about heading in the wrong direction. Just start out. You can made adjustments in your plan. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said: “The voyage of the best ship is a zig-zag line of a hundred tacks.”

        Adapt and adjust but keep going. Like the Nike iconic ad said: Just do it. “Boldness has genius, power and magic in it,” said German philosopher and author Johann Wolfgang Goethe. “Only engage and the mind grows heated.”

        Continue reading “To Quench Your Thirst for Success : Stir”

Quick Start: Well Begun = Half Done

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to help you launch your initiatives more effectively. Reading time: 3:10.


   “Move ’em on, head ’em up. Keep them doggies rollin’. Rawhide.”

Carl Lewis in LongJump competition

          Those lyrics from the 1960’s TV show Rawhide still ring in my ears. And no wonder. I was fascinated with how the real life cowboys of yesteryear could herd 3,000 cattle over a 1,000 mile route –hoofing through 16 miles a day on average –over two months despite rain, terrain and pain. Amazing since I can’t herd three cats into a room in a warm, comfortable home.

        What’s the secret? A quick start.

Track star Carl Lewis Celebrates a Victory

          And that’s an instructive leadership tactic for any complicated project filled with many moving parts.

        Turns out that over the first four days of the drive the cattle covered twice as many miles per day as they would average for the  rest of the drive. Why so quick a start? Fewer strays from homesick cattle.

        Indeed well begun is half done as the Roman historian Horace observed, echoing Aristotle’s notion that “beginning is said to be half the whole.” Continue reading “Quick Start: Well Begun = Half Done”