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Eating Humble Pie at 30,000 Feet

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy
Here’s an idea to reinforce the integrity of your corporate culture. Reading time: 3:14.

      The CEO and the president of a multi-billion dollar company headed off to the airport for a business trip.

Virtual Images       No limousine. No private jet. They flew commercial—in coach. No first class treatment for them. They were too focused on treating others first class.

      That’s what leaders do. They don’t regularly spend on themselves for comfort or convenience. They more regularly invest in others for their added comfort or convenience that increases their performance and productivity.

     Of course, the CEO and President could have justified the expense of a private jet for a business trip. But on this occasion, they had planned a larger than normal window in their schedules to accommodate the added travel time. 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

Spacing Your Leadership Bite

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy
Here’s an idea to help you develop relationship in your project management. Reading time: 3:44

         The newly appointed CEO was shocked and perplexed when the Chairman of the company left an urgent message for the CEO to cut short his European business trip and return as soon as possible to the corporate headquarters in the United States.

wheelwright1         Was it an unwanted takeover bid? Or an explosion in a manufacturing plant ? A kidnapping of a board member?

        The new CEO wondered what the crisis was about as he hurriedly broke away from negotiations in acquiring a company that would shore up a key vulnerability in the company’s product line.

        “A party—a retirement party?” the new CEO repeated in a frustrating and exasperating tone. “You want me to leave millions of dollars on the table right now –that’s the potential we have in acquiring this company that we had already talked about with you and the Board–to fly back to corporate headquarters to attend a retirement party?

       The Chairman of the Board calmly and resolutely confirmed his direction. The new CEO did attend the retirement party –an annual event that celebrates, lauds and says a big Thank You to hundreds of employees with 25 years or more of service.

       That annual Retirement Party is so important that top management — including the Chairman and the CEO and each company president– are always there in person to press the flesh. Continue reading

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

Leading ’em With Your Lede

 By Peter Jeff
The LeaderMints Guy
Here are 18 ideas to gain and retain audience attention from the beginning of your communication. Reading time: 4:56

    The Lede. That’s what the first paragraph of a news story is called.

    Leaders leverage their writing with Ledes  that command  attention and retention.

   WritingPen      Leaders sharpen their Lede writing so that the first paragraph in their memos, speeches, or books establishes relevance and portends significance.

        Leaders sharpen their Lede writing  to give voice to a wide range of human emotions impacting the human condition –from horror to awe and from joy to desperation that may delight or fright, thrill or chill .

         As the leader, you assume the role of  Anchor News Man or Woman. Your task is to lead your audience into your story, to help them connect to it and even anchor to it.

        That’s why leaders lead with Ledes that engage readers to process their written  messages  more critically, understand their written messages more strategically and act on their written messages more convincingly.

       Here are 18 different ways you can structure an opening to lead your audience into your written communications. Think of these 18 thought-starters as so many templates or patterns.   to craft your written communications with a Lede that is tailored and toned to fit the mood and expectations of your audience. Continue reading

Plying & Playing in Your Sandbox

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to gain greater buy in for a leader’s vision. Reading time: 3:14.

     Think of the Sandbox on the playground the next time you’re rolling out your company vision for all employees to buy into.

    sandbox1 Encourage your employees to parlay the creative process in the Sandbox as long as it remains situated on the same playground (a.k.a. your company’s founding principles) you built years ago.

     The playground is your company’s playing field –where you compete in the marketplace, where your company’s principles and policies are deeply embedded and where your Sandbox is a fixture in your corporate culture.

     Your Sandbox is a DESIGNated area for creative endeavor where employees can exercise their creativity and unleash their imaginations with the Sandbox.

     In time, employers build their proverbial sand castles in a celebration of diversity in thought and action and an eruption of the collaboration of so many hands, hearts and heads working together.

    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