Carpe Diem: Just DUE It Today

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to help you complete your goals on time. Reading time: 2:56

          You’re exhausted. You already pulled an all-nighter launching this new product and now you’ll be up at least another 24 hours chasing elusive customers, and combating critical media at this major industry convention.

        63 Hours Of No Sleepcharles lindbergh

Charles Lindbergh Time Magazine's first Man of the Year in 1927
Charles Lindbergh Time Magazine’s first Man of the Year in 1927

            The next time you find yourself in this exasperating situation, think of the 25-year-old who had also been up 24 straight hours and who then launched what turned out to be a 33 hour ordeal fighting certain death if he had fallen asleep.

        Charles Lindbergh, in a 63-hour stretch of no sleep, flew his way into the history books and on to the cover of Time Magazine as its first Man of the Year in 1927 after becoming the first to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.

       Carpe Diem: Seize the Day.

        That’s what Charles Lindbergh. did in demonstrating a key leadership skill: Leaders take action despite the circumstances. They DUE it more than simply do it. Continue reading “Carpe Diem: Just DUE It Today”

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Beyond Experience: Keeping It Real & Relevant

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to enhance your confidence. Reading time: 2:56.

             In a leadership review meeting, an executive complained that the candidate lacked experience. “Wait a minute,” objected another executive, “he’s got at least 10 years experience with his former company. “Yeah, right,” demurred the executive, “More like one year of experience 10 times.”

             Leaders know they have to keep it real. Every day is a new experience. Not a redo or a redux but a rekindling and rejuvenating; a renewal and revival.

            Leaders step on the platform of yesterday only to soar higher today without paying too much attention to past limitations.

          Consider Charles Lindbergh. He became the first to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean even though he had never flown half as far as he did over those 33.5 hours from New York to Paris 1927. Lindbergh, at 25, didn’t know what he didn’t know and proceeded onward with an insight, with a vision, with a mission burning and yearning within him of youthful exuberance. Lindbergh called it “the poet’s eye.” Continue reading “Beyond Experience: Keeping It Real & Relevant”

Grab the Tiger of Success by DeTAIL

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to add discipline to your decision-making process. Reading time: 2:57.

       Still looking for that magic wand to make your next project an overwhelming success? Look no further. It’s right in front of you. In the details.

       Leaders know how to handle their magic wand. They grab the tiger of success by “detail.”

        Consider the detail  in the piece of bubble gum in the making airplane history. Or the significance in folding socks to become a champion collegiate basketball coach.

    No detail is too small in the eyes of a leader-from the 82 different prototype models that factored into the final design of the Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles to the 98,178 storyboards used in the movie WALL-E — twice the 43,536 storyboards used in the movie Finding Nemo.

    Leaders know the more they pay attention to the details the more their mission and vision will pay off.

BUBBLE GUM MAGIC:

      Charles Lindbergh climbed in his airplane for what would become the first solo transatlantic flight from New York to Paris in 1927. Then he realized for the first time he could not see the compass. An extra fuel tank, positioned in the cockpit, blocked his view.

     Lindbergh climbed out of the cockpit. He  asked  a woman bystander for her compact .Then he asked another bystander for a stick of gum. He used the gum to stick the mirror from the compact on to the cockpit wall so that he could see the compass. Charles Lindbergh grabbed the tiger of success –by detail.

SOCK MAGIC:

     John Wooden, UCLA’s legendary basketball coach, would teach his players how to put on a new pair of socks by first smoothing out all the wrinkles that could cause a blister. He even had someone measure the feet of each player –both left and right– to assure the best fit basketball shoes. He did not merely asked each player his size. them inside out to remove a small clump of cloth that could cause a blister. His focus on detail even include the temperature of water served at team dinners (no ice) to avoid cramping and substituting orange slices for chocolate squares served at halftime because he said chocolate seemed to create “phlegm.”

      Continue reading “Grab the Tiger of Success by DeTAIL”

Customer Leadership Mint #1: Staying Relevant

This is the 1st of a 10-part series on Customer Leadership.

In this LEADERSHIP MINTS series, we celebrate the 100th anniversary of Steelcase Inc. (founded March 16, 1912) and salute Customer Leaders (a.k.a employees) who have consistently driven Steelcase Inc  as the worldwide, office-furniture industry leader for most of its 100 years serving/leading customers.  Today let’s examine Customer Leadership from an historical perspective at Steelcase Inc., the $2.4 billion company, headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

            Here’s an example of meeting a customer’s specific need.

           How do you lead your industry let alone stay in business for 100 years? Stay relevant. Especially in customer-izing your products or services to serve a specific customer need –from Charles Lindbergh’s historic trans-Atlantic flight to collaborating with famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright to playing a supporting role when General Douglas MacArthur acceped the Japanese surrender ceremony ending World War II.

Steelcase outfitted Charles Lindbergh's touring plane with a customized desk he used to sign autographs.

         That’s the customer leadership performance that we begin examining today with a series of 10 Leadership Mints over the next 10 business days. These Leadership Mints, short stories on customer leadership, are designed to freshen our bottom-line thinking on business success that Steelcase Inc. has earned en route to celebrating its 100th anniversary in March.

     “If ever a company marched to its own drummer, this one does– and in perfect step.”

         More than 25 years ago, Forbes Magazine cited Steelcase Inc. –the world’s leading office furniture maker – for its unique leadership style in a 5-page story titled “The Steel Behind Steelcase” in the October 7, 1985 issue. “If ever a company marched to its own drummer, this one does—and in perfect step,” opined editor James Michaels. “All very sui generis.”

           Consider these historical highlights:

         The year: 1927. The place: Paris. The event: Charles Lindbergh soars the Atlantic. Lucky Lindy pilots his Spirit of St. Louis 33.5 hours over 3,610 miles of ocean from New York– the first solo pilot across the Atlantic. And after his triumphant flight, he celebrated with a promotional tour across the United States. When Charles Lindbergh came to Grand Rapids, Steelcase Inc. was there, outfitting his touring plane with a customized desk.

            Continue reading “Customer Leadership Mint #1: Staying Relevant”