Speak Loudly & Carry a Sledgehammer

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to help you inspire with more than words. Reading time: 2:12.

          The founder of the McDonald’s hamburger empire was fuming mad. Ray Kroc was so hot that you could have grilled a Big Mac on his forehand.

          The Golden Arch patriarch wanted his store managers to spend more time with customers in the front of the store and less time  sitting on the wooden chair in the office in back of the store. He sent each store manager a hand saw and a message: “Saw off the back of your chair.”

        Apocryphal or not, the story illustrates Kroc’s passion to continuously improve performance, a passion that is the crux of leadership that embodies, embraces and espouses a can-do, will-do, spirit, energy and drive.

        The saw-off-the-legs-of-the-chair story also illustrates a key skill of the most inspiring leaders: They speak loudly and carry a big stick (or saw), especially in steering an organization through culture-busting change.

        Continue reading “Speak Loudly & Carry a Sledgehammer”

Kiss ‘n Tell: Giving More Than Lip Service

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to help you more fully communicate without words.

         Jimmy Stewart passionately kisses Donna Reed in the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life.” The producer and the camera crew were thrilled with the scene. But the scriptwriter had a major concern, complaining the actors left out a whole page of dialogue. Frank Capra, the director, responded: “With technique like that who needs dialogue? Print it!”

        How’s your technique? No, not for kissing. For leading — with your body language.

        Sure, you know only too well that well-worn bromide that actions always speak louder than words.

       But the most effective that leaders I’ve met ALSO KNOW how powerful their smile can be in leveraging their face value in particular and their body language in general. They know a smile,  the only thing you can’t break by cracking, can soothe as good as many a medicine.

          At least many injured soldiers thought so.

        Imagine a hospital scene with four MILES of beds to accommodate 1800 injured soldiers.  Florence Nightingale and her staff of 43 nurses administered smiles as much as medicine to those injured. One soldier wrote: “She would speak to one and nod and smile to many more. We lay there by the hundreds. But we could kiss her shadow as it fell and lay our heads as the pillow against it, content.”

      Florence Nightingale leveraged her face value– her smile — to affect even more people that she could personally attend to. You don’t have to be a Florence Nightingale to leverage your face value in the workplace. But you do have to be aware of the tool all leaders wield–their body language — to affect the behavior of others, to affect the well-being of others, to effective the productivity of the others.

       Continue reading “Kiss ‘n Tell: Giving More Than Lip Service”