Tag Archives: John Adams

Honoring Your Honor

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to enhance your ethical behavior. Reading time: 3:35

        Blindly placing a gum wrapper in the ash tray, he drove out of the car rental lot and into the darkness. Or was that into the oblivion?

         At least it seemed that way. cigarettes Suddenly, he felt as if someone had punched him hard in the gut. He was hurt — offended more than beaten; betrayed more than bedraggled.

       Yes. Betrayed.

        He sneered at that cigarette-strewn ash tray in his Avis car rental. He groused that just because he writes Avis ads for a living “that doesn’t make me a paid liar.” He grumbled, “If Avis can’t, live up to its advertising, they can get themselves a new boy.”

       The ad writer, who had previously created copy lauding Avis’s cigarette-butt free cars, resigned the Avis account.

                 That’s what leaders do. They preserve, protect and promote their honor. With integrity. And often these honorable leaders influence corporations to honor their honor.

                In fact copywriter David Herzbrun’s personal conviction to integrity in his advertising copy influenced Avis to approve paid advertisements apologizing for the cigarette-strew ashtray in his car rental.

              Indeed, leaders honor their honor Continue reading

Beware of Breathing Your Own Exhaust

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to check your ego to become more productive. Reading time: 2:06.

adams             The next time you’re stuck in a meeting where the words are flying hot and heavy –more on egos and arrogance than on facts and figures —take a deep breath.

            You’re not alone.

             Bombast and bravura seemingly have always exploded when the best and the brightest convene. Yet the most effective leaders stay alert to keep from the breathing their own exhaust.

              Consider John Adams attending the First Continental Congress that  met in 1774 in Philadelphia.  Adams soon felt a lot of hot air blowing particularly INSIDE.

       The bluster  and the braggadocio of most of the 54 delegates– who all thought they each were the smartest in the room — whipped in every speech even on the most mundane of issues. That grandstanding made Adams very uncomfortable, according to historian David McCullough’s biography of John Adams.

       In a letter to his wife Abigale, John Adams is both amazed and appalled at the assembly of the best and brightest –the framers that would begin building the framework for what would become  two years later the United States of America.

         “This assembly is like no other that even existed,” Adams tells his wife Abigale. “Every man in it is a great man—an orator, a critic, a statesman, and therefore EVERY man upon EVERY question must show his oratory, his criticism, and his political abilities. Continue reading

Leading Against the Odds

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

         Having a bad day? Here’s a quick peek into the history books to give you a lift. Reading time: 3:18

The Brooklyn Bridge Stands as a Testament to Perseverance

        You’re in the middle of a big project and you suffer a terrible accident that paralyzes you for life. You can hardly speak. What do you do?

        If you’re Washington Roebling you continue for 13 years to build the Brooklyn Bridge. Roebling was paralyzed when he suffered the bends while inspecting the footings of the bridge.

       Instead of giving up, he supervised the bridge construction through binoculars from his window. He communicated construction orders to his staff through a finger-tapping code with his wife who relayed the message to his engineers.

     Against the odds like that, leaders find a way to get it done. Consider the following odds and the leaders who faced them. Continue reading