Leadership Mints Series Sampler: Setting The Stage For Others

Leaders set the stage.
As stagehands, leaders readily leave their egos outside the stage door. They shun the spotlight. In fact they quickly get behind the spotlight to shine the light on others. Consider Alexander the Great.

As a leading stage hand, he visited Diogenes and asked whether he could do anything for the famed teacher. Diogenes said, “Only stand out of my light.” And he did.

Leaders regularly set the stage for others to star in the play.

Leaders know they are more potent when they are not in the spotlight or even on stage.

In fact, “The real test of leadership is when management isn’t present – which is about 70 percent of the time,” observes author Ken Blanchard.

Reality check. Are you standing in someone’s light or lighting someone’s stand?

In lighting someone’s stand, leaders leverage talent behind the scenes. John Sculley, the former Chief Executive Officer at Apple, noted that leaders are like impresarios, those behind-the-scenes producers who organize and often finance concerts, plays, or operas.

Impresarios, supersized stagehands, ensure that the resources are available, and that the setting and stages are reviewed and updated regularly to enhance performance.

              To help you focus on the significance of periodically resetting the working environment (the stage) for your employees (the actors) to perform at their best, consider the following ditty:

CLEARING THE WAY

A leader may use just the right words,
To cage the brightest and best of birds.
Those birds may sing throughout the day,
Creating greater productivity in every way.
But suddenly their creative spirit is no longer free,

When the birds are caught  in their own debris.
Then leaders step in  to clear the way so the birds
can again sing away.

For more on clearing the way for others, see the first book in the 3-book Leadership Mints Series:  now available on Amazon.com titled: THINKING Like a Leader.

That book on thinking like a leader is the first of three books in The Leadership Mints Series designed to help leaders refresh their feeling for leading with short stories (called Leadership Mints) you can grab ‘n go  like a candy mint.

The two other books are also available on Amazon.com. They include  LOVING Like a Leader and SPEAKING Like a Leader.

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Rubbing the Genie Out of your Bottle

 By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to help you become a more effective coach. Reading time: 3:19.

       “Are you watching your speed…we are,” flashed the digital sign display overhead. The motorist immediately checked her speedometer and instinctively eased up on the accelerator.

        digital speed sign 1That real-time feedback leading to a practiced and well-defined behavioral change is what coaching is all about. Think of an executive coach as your personal 24/7 feedback digital sign display.

        Flashing your feedback in real time, your personal or executive coach gives you real-time analysis of what you are doing so that you can make real-time changes to how you are doing it and why.

        But too many executives, ensconced in their comfortable corporate suites,  think they don’t have the patience or the time to put up with a real-world coach dealing with real issues. In real time.

Beyond the Corporate Car Wash

        Those insulated–and isolated– executives would rather spend a few days a  year at an Executive Retreat at a swanky resort listening to other smart, creative, intriguing people like themselves share leadership development ideas.

       Of course that spray and pray it sticks –the Corporate Car Wash Model of leadership development – is  futile.  A few minutes after getting back on the open road (on the job) your car (your job)  is covered with mud. Again Continue reading “Rubbing the Genie Out of your Bottle”

Lighting the Way: From Coaching to Mentoring

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to strengthen your ability to develop future leaders. Reading time: 4:26.

The Mentor’s Spotlght

       You’re a coach, a mentor and a leader. Are you wearing three different hats or one hat three different ways?

        The most effective leaders know they are wearing — Three Different Hats —for three very different situations.

       They also know, understand, and can apply the difference with a distinction which helps them become even more instructive and constructive as a coach; even more influential and insightful as a mentor and even more energizing and galvanizing as a leader.

            Indeed all three disciplines –coaching, mentoring and leading— light the way for others. Coaches light the way with headlights. Mentors light the way with spotlights. And leaders light the way with limelights.

 Coaches Light the Way with Headlights

        Envision yourself driving down a highway at night. Your headlights light up a specific area – just ahead . The road is well mapped with clear and distinct destination points (responsibilities, objectives and indicators).

      Like a headlight, a coach illuminates a short-term goal, defines the expected performance and clarifies the necessary outcomes. The coach knows precisely where that road leads. That’s why the coach by definition must be the employee’s immediate supervisor. The coach is as vested in the result as fully as the employee is.

      Much like a coach of a sports team, the coach is figuratively with the employee at all times on the playing field –helping, guiding, steering, encouraging, consulting , observing and adjusting that well-defined road ahead.

     Continue reading “Lighting the Way: From Coaching to Mentoring”