Just Looking or Really Seeing?

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to broaden your problem solving skills. Reading time: 2:32

Claude Monet's Painting
Artist Claude Monet’s  SPRINGTIME Showcases his Mastery of  Shades of Color

        Claude Monet, the impressionist artist, once told a young artist not to pay attention to the objects before him.

         Forget the tree. Forget the house. Forget the field. Forget what everyone else is looking at.

         Concentrate instead  on colors: a little streak of blue here or a patch of green there; a streak of yellow, a dash of blue.

           Leaders too look for an object’s  color more than its current shape or form. They see the potential not merely the object. They see the art –in fact —not an artifact. They are willing to look in different places that others are indifferent to.

          The leaders -seeing more than merely looking– see and do the opposite of what others see and do. They hit em where they ain’t in the parlance of the iconic baseball Hall of Famer Joe DiMaggio

            These leaders focus their thinking where others would never go. And sometimes they even turn their back to a vista that seemed to command the attention of everyone. Except leaders.

           So if you are feeling shunned as an iconoclast for your contrary point of view, take solace. You’re leading a new way of thinking that spawns so many more opportunities and broadens so many more possibilities. Continue reading “Just Looking or Really Seeing?”

Keeping Your Oars In the Water

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to stay focused on increased performance. Reading time: 2:37.

        You won. But you’re not done. Not yet. Leaders don’t take time to rest— no matter how good the profit margin; no matter how prolific the units sales, no matter how pre-emptive the new product launch. There’s just TOO MUCH left to do.  Going forward.

       EDITED OAR  At least that’s the assessment of Lee Iacocca who led Chrysler from the brink of bankruptcy.  “Never rest on your oars as a boss, if you do, the whole company starts sinking.”

        The most effective leaders intuitively know they need to continuously improve.  Consistently  perform. Persistently progress.  After all:

  • Karate practitioners, the day after their black belt exam, are expected to be on the mat the next day practicing, improving  and improvising.
  • Artist Grandma Moses would finish a painting and then 10 days later study it to see where she could improve and improvise.
  • Author James Michener was asked to name his favorite book among the more than 35 he had authored. Michener said:  “My preference is always the next book” where he could improve and improvise.

    Abraham Lincoln always kept his oar in the water even when it seemed his boat was sinking. The president quickly paddled his way out of his situation, no matter how devastating the defeat or how exhausting the effort or how hopeless the condition. Keep rowing. Continue reading “Keeping Your Oars In the Water”

Serving Biscuits On Your Gravy Train

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to set the stage for a more productive project. Reading time: 3:13.

          The plateful of biscuits on the conference room table seemed out-of-place. Unusual, since no food was ever available at staff meetings. Coffee. Water. And down to business.

          But today’s staff meeting was special: the launch of a new project.

         The leader had an added agenda item: stimulate his staff to conduct even more research, execute even more preparation than they would normally do in launching  a new project.

          He knew his words would not be as effective as some sort of demonstration that highlighted the significance of detailed research. Cue the biscuits.

          As the leader personally passed the plateful of biscuits to each of his staff, he explained that the word “biscuit” stems from French meaning “twice cooked” – “bis” (twice) and “coquere” (to cook).  That’s because biscuits were originally cooked in a twofold process: first baked, and then dried out in a slow oven. The two-step process prevented spoiling and sustained sailors on long voyages.

       Continue reading “Serving Biscuits On Your Gravy Train”