Investing In Your Leadership Trust Fund

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to build trust through long-term relationships. Reading time: 3:31

      You’re a General leading in battle when you’re forced to surrender to a fever-maddening illness that threatens your life.

Artist Taras Shevchenko's 1836 depiction of Alexander the Great and his doctor
Artist Taras Shevchenko’s 1836 depiction of Alexander the Great and his doctor

       You are so sick that even your official physicians refuse to treat you, fearing they would be cited for negligence or even murder.

      Compounding your predicament is a rumor that your rival is offering a reward to assassinate you.

      Finally you solicit a doctor willing to treat you against the odds.

       But then– just as you begin to take the medicine this doctor just prepared for you– you are presented an urgent note. The note says the medicine you are about to drink is poison. The note also warns that this doctor had been paid off by a rival General to assassinate you.

        What do you do? You do what Alexander the Great did.

         He scanned the note and immediately swallowed the medicine as cavalierly as if he were downing a drink in bar and while drinking handed the note to the doctor. The doctor also read the inflammatory note and hardly reacted to being called an ASSASSIN. He knew better.

        And so did Alexander The Great, who would go on to conquer half the known world some 2,346 years ago.

Continue reading “Investing In Your Leadership Trust Fund”

Riding the SeeSaw of Trust Together

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to infuse added trust in your relationships. Reading time: 2:47

      Balancing each other on the SeeSaw, the two elementary school girls personified a key leadership skill: trusting each other. Completely.

      SEESAWWith that well-secured bond of trust, each can soar to new heights with the reciprocal action of the other.

      But without that bond of trust linking these partners, one can come quickly crashing down when the other simply steps off the SeeSaw and walks away. At the wrong time.

      And does the other wrong.

      That’s why the most trusting leaders always FIRST discern the consequences of their own actions on another. Then they project those behaviors on to themselves with a greater sense of emotional intelligence. Indeed the most trusting leaders FIRST see themselves in the other person’s shoes.

      After all, it takes two to dance the Tango of Trust. What you give, you get. What you sow, you reap.

      No wonder the most trusting leaders focus on seeing EYE-to-EYE with their trusted partners. They see EYE as an insightful acrostic standing for the three-legged stool upon which all trust sits:

E for Experience

      E for an Experience that is shared between the two trusting parties. Together they have been battle tested. Together they have been successful, safe and secure. Together they have both trusted and proven trustworthy.

     Together they enjoy a high degree of predictability with each other and a strong sense of compatibility. Together they have proven their accountability and their availability. And together these two trusting partners have earned a reputation for being there  for each other 24/7. Fully connected.

Continue reading “Riding the SeeSaw of Trust Together”

Your employees ARE NOT your employees

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to help you appreciate your staff more fully. Reading time:3:54.

   With apologies to Kahlil Gibran:

silhouette-man-standing         Your employees are
not your employees.

       They come to work
for you but

      They are not necessarily
of you.

       And though they are
with you,

      They belong
not to you.

      You may give them
your valuables.

        But not your values.
    You may house their bodies
But not their souls.


      Maybe that’s why the most effective leaders develop compacts more than contracts with their employees — compacts that empower more than employ; compacts that inspire confidence in employers to proclaim as Henry Ford once did:

“You can take my factories,
burn up my buildings but give me
my PEOPLE and I’ll build the business right back.”

       Notice that Henry Ford did not say “my employees.”

       Indeed, his PEOPLE were much more than hired hands.  His PEOPLE were the heart beat of the company.  His PEOPLE were the spirit, energy and drive behind his company. Continue reading “Your employees ARE NOT your employees”

Keeping Your Heart & Sole in the Game

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to help you lead your former teammates more effectively. Reading time: 3:58.

           You’re a newly appointed vice president moving into your new office. You’re thrilled with the opportunity yet concerned that your direct reports know you first and foremost as their long-time teammate. Now you’re their boss.

         Running Shoes and Teamwork

         You question yourself.  Sure you have the authority but do you really have the power? Your self-doubt begins to overwhelm you, but then you wake up and smell the smelly shoes!

         At least that’s what one newly appointed vice president did while unpacking  a framed picture he had kept in a drawer but never showcased in his previous office. The picture of well-worn running shoes and socks always seemed so out of place in an executive setting.

       But not this time.

       This time the smelly-looking photograph emitted the more pleasant scent of teamwork –a whiff of humility and an aire of staying in touch with his former teammates as their leader more than their boss.  Now the newly appointed vice president proudly showcased the photo in his office.

     No wonder: those smelling running shoes and socks in the photograph provoked a lot of inquiry. And the newly appointed vice president gladly obliged. He turned the photo into a leadership teaching opportunity well beyond the obvious cliche of teamwork, dedication and conviction that most sports imagery evokes. Continue reading “Keeping Your Heart & Sole in the Game”

Stand Up & Under What You Believe

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to strengthen your values. Reading time: 1:46.

FALLINGWATER, a Frank Lloyd Wright designed home in Pennsylvania

            The building contractor balked when he saw the architect’s plan for a new home. “Too dangerous,” he said, eyeing the planned cantlevered terraces 30 foot high over a waterfall.

            He refused the job. Another contractor built the cantilevered terraces but then had second thoughts about removing the construction supports, even though the architect assured the contractor that the cantilevered terraces would stay up.

          And Frank Lloyd Wright proved it. Personally.

          The famous architect, much to the surprise of the contractor, personally stood up for and under what he believed in. He proved the structural integrity of his design.

         Standing under the cantilevered terrace, he kicked out the temporary support structure. Safely and securely. Wright On! Frank Lloyd Wright made history that day.

         His masterpiece—The Fallingwater Home in Bear Run, PA—would become the subject of a cover story in Time Magazine in January 1938 and Wright added another chapter into his leadership legend as the most famous architect of the 20th century.

   Wright Makes Might

          Leaders stand up – and under—for what they believe in.

         Wright also stood up for his design of the controversial mushroom-like pillars in the Johnson Wax headquarters in Racine, Wisconsin.

        The building inspector would not approve the construction of the pillars until Wright proved each pillar could support 12 tons. Wright conducted the test FIVE-FOLD, proving his pillars could hold 60 tons.

          Continue reading “Stand Up & Under What You Believe”