Leadership Mints Series Sampler On the Pursuit of Happiness

Which of these two alternatives would you choose to gain a greater sense of your personal happiness: either a $30,000 boost in your income or habitually including a 30-minute walk in your daily routine.

PETER JEFF
The Leadership Mints Guy

The leader in you has already validated psychologist Daniel Gilbert’s research that daily exercise is a greater stimulant to your sense of happiness, albeit assuming your basic needs are being met where a “little money buys you a lot but a lot of money buys you little.”

     Leaders, literally walking their talk for 30 minutes a day, lose a lot more than a few pounds. They also lose their temptation to sit on the sidelines –or the couch. They reject that notion of purposeless and powerlessness that the Beatles lamented in their song Nowhere Man:

  “He’s a real nowhere man,
living in his nowhere land,
making all his nowhere plans for nobody.
Doesn’t have a point of view.
Knows not where he’s going to.
Isn’t he a bit like you and me?”

With a daily exercise they come to find a psychological plateau to stand on– psychological plateau that affords new more grandeur views on life. Now instead of being that Nowhere Man, exercising leaders more readily sees themselves on the run with a sense of conviction to reach a goal like the man in Stephen Crane’s poem The Black Riders:

I saw a man pursuing the horizon.
Round and Round they sped.
I was disturbed at this.
I accosted the man.
It is futile, I said.
“You can never.”
“You lie,” he cried. And ran on.

       So do leaders. They run on–exercising their leadership.

The 3-books
in The Leadership Mints Series
available on Amazon.com
in print and e-book

Consumed like a breath mint — quick and on-the-go — a Leadership Mint is a short story that energizes leadership behaviors and personalizes leadership principles so they are more easily remembered, more readily acted upon and more fully applied.

Leadership Mints Series Sampler on Celebrating The Competition

You’re in a slump. You lost a major account this week.  Your competition is bearing down on you. What do you do?  Take a deep breath. Applaud your competition.

That’s what loving leaders do. Take it from Dennis Conner, America’s Cup yacht racing winner and the author of the book The Art of Winning:

“Keep an eye on the competition. Be glad they’re tough to beat.
Your toughest competitors are your biggest allies in the art of winning.
They’re the ones who make you work harder, move faster, and think smarter.”

Dennis Conner, The Art of Winning

With the competition breathing down your neck, you could become King or Queen of the Forest as celebrated in this poem on symbiotic power from that prolific author Mr. or Mrs. Anonymous:

The tree that never had to fight,
For sun and sky and air and light
That stood out in the open plain and
Always got its share of rain
Never became a forest king,

But lived and died a scrubby thing.

It’s titled:   LOVING Like a Leader with Empathy– one of three books in The Leadership Mints Series designed to help leaders refresh their feeling for leading. And as a bonus, the postscript titled– BUSINESS: A HUMAN EXPERIENCE — shares the impetus for this book on empathy impacting the bottom line.The two other books in The Leadership Mints Series -now available on Amazon.com — include THINKING Like a Leader with Clarity and SPEAKING Like a Leader with Civility.

Leadership Mints Series Sampler On Speech-Writing Sign Posts

Sign posts will help your audience better follow you when you take off down the speech-writing road. 

Consider posting  these six signs in the following sequential order:

Attention Catcher

        Engage the audience emotionally. Share feelings more than facts. Exaggerate your opening with a loud or a very soft voice and/or energetic body language that involves the audience.

Listener Relevance

       Give your listeners a reason to listen.Define what’s in it for them. How will your speech help listeners enhance their quality of life, their sense of well being, their need for security and stability?

Thesis Statement

        Pause and then deliver the main theme of your speech in a single concise statement.The shorter, the better. Consider repeating this short statement, more slowly and deliberately, to reinforce the essence of your message.

Preview

          List 3 key points—in short headline form—that you will make in the speech that supports your thesis.

Content

        Develop each of your three key points with specific facts, stories and third-party references.   Summarize after the first two points and introduce your third point: “Now that we have discussed points A and B, let me tell you about C.”

Conclusion

        Summarize: Restate the Preview and then Repeat the Thesis. Do not end by saying “Thank you.”An accomplished  comedian leaves the audience laughing. An accomplished speaker leaves the audience thinking. Drive your point to a crescendo ending. Then pause. Look down. And begin walking back to your desk. The audience will know when to applaud.

To help you more fully map your next speech so that you will attain and retain the attention of your audience, consider purchasing a copy of SPEAKING Like a Leader.The 298-page book now available on Amazon.com.

SPEAKING Like a Leader is part of the Leadership Mints Series that also includes a book  on creativity —THINKING Like a Leader , a 284-page book filled with 77 Leadership Mints and a 300-page book on empathy filled with 77 more Leadership Mints-LOVING Like a Leader.

All three books in The Leadership Mints Series are designed for busy leaders seeking to refresh their feeling for leading in 5-minutes or less — the average reading of a Leadership Mint.

           What ‘s a Leadership Mint?

Consumed like a breath mint — quick and on-the-go — a Leadership Mint is a short story that energizes leadership behaviors and personalizes leadership principles so they are more easily remembered, more readily acted upon and more fully applied.

Leadership Mints Series Sampler on Reprimanding Idle Employees

Busy cashiers finally got a breather.The long lines of customers in the checkout lane finally disappeared. Two cashiers on adjacent lanes capitalized on the respite. They began chatting.

A third employee joined the conversation while both cashiers visually checked to be sure no customers needed to be served. All three were engaged in a business-related conversation during the lull. Until they weren’t.

“Hey is anybody here on break or what?” barked the supervisor who seemed to suddenly barge into their threesome with a force of a bowling ball.

All three employees stopped chatting. One noted that they were discussing an important business issue regarding  safety.

The supervisor shook his head from side to side and walked away as the three employees halted their hugfest and went back to their posts even though no customers were yet in line to be served.

The three employees felt devalued more than deflated, discarded more than simply discounted. And the business no longer could count on the three employees to do their best work. They settled for going through the motions. 

The supervisor had
won the battle and lost the war.

What would a loving leader have done in the same situation to be sure idle employees stay focused on the job even when they have no customers to serve?

A loving leader might consider the ACT intervention process to help their employees remember they are on the clock, getting paid to work together not chat together: ACT stands for Acknowledge, Clarify & Teach.

           Acknowledge

A is for Acknowledge: Acknowledge the situation from the employee’s point of view. “Nice to get a chance to visit with each other when business slows down like this,” the supervisor could have said.

            Clarify

C is for Clarify: Clarify how the situation looks from the customer perspective. “Customers get frustrated when they sense that we see them as an intrusion in our conversation,” the supervisor could have noted.

Teach

T is for Teach. Establish the perceived tension between the customer and the cashier and teach the value in a change in behavior that first and foremost meets the employee’s needs and secondarily supports the organization’s profitability.

Of course we all know the customer is our life-blood: fewer customers , fewer sales, fewer new hires which means more work for us,” the supervisor could have said. “Thanks for staying at your posts even in slow times so we keep those customers feeling like we want to serve them and we are more able to control how hard we have to work. Otherwise, we would have to do the same amount of work with fewer employees since we would stop hiring if it begins to look like business has slowed significantly.”

It’s titled:   LOVING Like a Leader with Empathy– one of three books in The Leadership Mints Series designed to help leaders refresh their feeling for leading. And as a bonus, the postscript titled– BUSINESS: A HUMAN EXPERIENCE — shares the impetus for this book on empathy impacting the bottom line.The two other books in The Leadership Mints Series -now available on Amazon.com — include THINKING Like a Leader with Clarity and SPEAKING Like a Leader with Civility.

Leadership Mints Series Sampler On Treating Others With Respect

Aloha! What if you began and ended your one-on-one meetings with that evocative greeting — a greeting that also serves as a productive farewell — even if you don’t live or work in Hawaii?

Aloha from Hawaii

Then you’d be saying much more than “hi and bye.” With your “Aloha” you’d be invoking “the breath of life” both at the beginning and and the ending of your meeting. Who doesn’t need a breath of fresh air to freshen the workday at the start and at the end? Aloha stems from “Alo,” meaning presence and “ha,” meaning breath. The website  To-Hawaii.com, published by Eleakai Publishing, LLC, also notes:

  • Aloha is the essence of relationships in which each person is important to every other person for collective existence.
  • Aloha means to hear what is not said, to see what cannot be seen and to know the unknowable.
  • Aloha means mutual regard and affection and extends warmth in caring with no obligation in return.

How can you best spread the Aloha sentiment of mutual regard and affection without actually saying the word ALOHA and yet conjure up images of flowing palm trees and colorful leis?

Simply ask your staff member to set the meeting agenda. Fight off the urge to dump your in-basket into the lap of your direct report with the following provocative Aloha greeting question of another kind:

“What is on your mind today?”

In his book The Coaching Habit, Michael Bungay Stanier says that key question reaffirms a trusting relationship and establishes a working environment of dignity and respect for both the staffer and the leader.

This agenda-setting question also quickly targets a pressing need and a more strategic problem solving discussion that leads to a more productive outcome.

But then the most effective leader confirms the decision-making process with the staffer BEFORE the meeting ends with the following Aloha farewell question of another kind?

“What was the most useful to you in our meeting?”

Those two bookend questions take your one-on-on meetings to the next level, and a establish a more strategic followup meeting well beyond the hi and bye opener and closer of most meetings.

The leadership lesson is clear: Breathe life into your meetings. Turn your how-are-ya’s into Alohas!

It’s titled:   LOVING Like a Leader with Empathy– one of three books in The Leadership Mints Series designed to help leaders refresh their feeling for leading. And as a bonus, the postscript titled– BUSINESS: A HUMAN EXPERIENCE — shares the impetus for this book on empathy impacting the bottom line.The two other books in The Leadership Mints Series -now available on Amazon.com — include THINKING Like a Leader with Clarity and SPEAKING Like a Leader with Civility.