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FLOWER POWER: BEE-ING A LEADER

Think of yourself as a bee pollinating flowers every morning when you make your Friendly Five rounds. That’s the way Walt Disney characterized his leadership style.

Disney compared himself to a bumble bee “going from one area in the studio to another to stimulate everybody.”

Pollinating the blossoming of others is an instructive metaphor for the essence of a loving leader.

No wonder the most effective leaders schedule no formal meetings for at least the first hour “in the office.”

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

That’s why the most effective leaders invest in the Friendly Five every day Continue reading

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Thriving on Your Friendly Five

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to help you work smarter not harder. Reading time: 3:21

      Forget working 12-hour days or more. Try working just 5 minutes a day –with each of your employees—and making more time for you to think, to learn and to lead.

     No way, you say. You gotta be kidding me! Well, read on and see for yourself. Five-Minutes

     The most effective leaders leverage the Friendly Five Minutes strategy to preempt problems and take precautionary measures that ward off at least some of the headaches before they flair into full-fledged migraines.

      Highly effective leaders say that if they spend 5 minutes each day FIRST THING with each of their employees, they increase morale, cool smoldering fires and more fully assess the working conditions  to better align for every-changing production demands and staffing assignments.

     Let’s say you have eight direct reports and you spend 5 minutes with each of them or 40 minutes and let’s say you need 10 minutes to get from workstation to workstation to visit with your next direct report or 80 minutes. Continue reading

Swallowing Your Feedback

 By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy
Here’s an idea to motivate quality behavior. Reading time 3:57.

        You’ve lost another account. Two staffers are threatening to quit. Feedbackimage1Your boss has painted a target on your back. And you’re forced to listen to some tough love feedback from those around you.

      You’re mad and you’re just not going to take it any more. Your response to all that feedback is just two words and the last word is YOU.

     Thank You.

      “Thank you”  is the only appropriate response when people you know and trust offer you a candid assessment of your behaviors—both what you are doing and what you may not be doing—and a candid assessment of how you are perceived by those around you.

     No matter how much you disagree. No matter how defensive you feel. Your response is always the same. Thank you.

     Even if someone does not abide by the First Rule of Feedback – asking Continue reading

Adapting on Your Climb to the Top

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy
Here’s an idea to help you cope with added scrutiny as you are promoted. Reading time: 3:13

      You’ve reach the C-Suite. You’ve worked hard for this promotion.  But something feels awkward.

chain of command

Filigree

      Your once clear and distinct chain of command has morphed into a filigree of complex relationships as former CEO David D’Allesandro writes in his book Executive Warfare.

      And now you have to adapt to all of that added scrutiny from the Board to the Stockholders to regulators etc.

       Welcome to the C-Suite. Think C for Chameleon more than Corporate.

      All leaders no matter at what level learn to adapt to the ever changing working conditions.

      They realize flying at this altitude in corporate life they had better be able to sway with the forces in much the same way the wingspan of a 747 jet is designed to sway up and down 29 feet at the tips of the 195 feet wings to cope with the effects of turbulence.

       And when you feel alone and isolated on a desert in the C-Suite, you’ll adapt just like the Greasewood—the only plant that drives its roots 40 feet down to find water in Death Valley, the lowest point in US is 252 feet below sea level.

       To spark your adaptive skills, let’s see how various aspects of life adapt in Mother Nature for greater survival. Continue reading

Respect Curbs Jail Vandalism

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to curb vandalism. Reading time: 2:56.

      Vandalism had been increasing at the county jail until the new Sheriff came to town. He not only curtailed vandalism by 80 percent the following year but he also taught his staff a valuable lesson in leadership.

     jail cell2 How? The Sheriff stopped treating his inmates equally. Instead he started awarding more perks to inmates who were charged with lesser crimes.

      The new Sheriff gave them regular smoking breaks. He gave one bald prisoner a baseball cap to help him keep warm. He allowed another to work part time as a mechanic in the the sheriff’s garage. The net result? Continue reading

Leadership cues from Mother Nature

By Peter F. Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea on learning from Mother Nature. Reading time: 2:57

Alaskan glacier

Alaskan glacier

      What can leaders learn from Mother Nature in developing an effective leadership environment.

      Let’s first visit Mother Nature’s glaciers in Alaska. The ice isn’t white. It’s blue, a turquoise blue. The glaciers are so densely packed that the oxygen in the ice chemically behaves more like nitrogen.

       Are your employees turning blue?
Are they packed in too close to each
other either on the factory floor or in the office?

      Now let’s take a look at birds: Eagles, condors and albatrosses build their nests high in trees or cliffs or mountain tops. They must take off downhill in order to fly.

       Are your eagles —high performing workers—
forced to build their homes too close to the ground?

       A sparrow hawk is full-grown and flying in 26 days. That’s because all birds of prey have to grow up fast especially in cold weather. They must be big enough to hunt before the winter arrives. Continue reading

Championing Your Consigliere

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to become more persuasive. Reading time: 3:19

       a black laptop computer with a red megaphoneYou’ve got a good idea. Now, consider presenting that idea with all the creative flair it took to develop it.

       Instead of simply  pitching it directly to the decision-maker, lateral it. Hand it off to a colleague –your champion–who has less baggage to carry into that decision-making meeting.

      And with no dog in the race,  your champion is likely to get farther– faster –than you.

     executive warfare

      Yes. Your Champion. One who speaks on behalf of another.

       Think of that champion as your consigliere (Italian for counselor.)

       You’ll recall meeting the  Consigliere in the movie The Godfather. Robert Duvall’s character served as the trusted lawyer and confidant to the Corelone family.

        The Consigliere — a.k.a. champion — often had to referee internal and external conflict without getting killed in the process. He or she stayed above the fray primarily because he or she stood on the sidelines, never in line for one of the line positions to run the family.

     And those champions in your organization serve as servant leaders to leaders. They become “consiglieri or the real advisors behind the throne,” notes former CEO David D’Alessandro in his book Executive Warfare.

     Those Consiglieri  (plural of Consigliere) are often staff leaders in human resources, public relations, investor relations and the law department, D’Alessandro observes who have “unfettered access to the boss.”  They have no ax to grind. No personal agenda to pursue beyond their current role. Continue reading