Savoring Leadership Mints With Chopsticks

Remember the first time you used a pair of chopsticks? Chances are you ended up with a splattering of sweet and sour sauce on your shirt or blouse.  No wonder.  You were trying to “manage” that morsel of Hunan chicken into your mouth.

Later you learned how to use both chopsticks at the same time to manage AND lead simultaneously to get the food into your mouth with no splatter.

Mastering chopsticks demands both stability (management) AND flexibility (leadership) at the same time as you can see in the following basic steps to eating with chopsticks:

  1. Hold the lower chopstick firmly against your middle finger.
  2. Hold the upper chopstick as you would hold a pencil.
  3. Keep the lower chopstick steady (manage for stability) while moving the upper chopstick up and down (lead with flexibility).

That dichotomy — one chopstick stationary and the other chopstick moving — takes some getting used to. So does managing and leading at the same time.

You need both skill sets to be effective in either discipline. You need stability — planning, budgeting, organizing and controlling or management. And you also need flexibility — values, vision, creativity, caring, sharing, framing and strategic positioning or leading.

(This is an excerpt of a newly relaunched book titled
LOVING Like a Leader now available on Amazon.com

 

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Leaders Saddle Up for the Long Haul

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to help you wear both your manager and leader hats more productively. Reading time: 2:34

              Leaders are developed. Through Time. Managers are appointed. For a Time.

             horsesPresident Abraham Lincoln appreciated the critical importance of sauteing leadership over time in a well-oiled, hot pan of situations, conditions and opportunities.

           In fact, Lincoln clarified the Time difference required to prepare leaders vs. managers in the following story that caught his Secretary of War by surprise.

          During the Civil War, the Confederates captured a Union brigadier general and more than 100 valuable horses. The Secretary of War notified President Lincoln of the loss. The president responded that he mourned the loss of the 100 horses more than the capture of the brigadier general.

           The astonished Secretary of War nearly fell off his chair. Something didn’t add up. Continue reading “Leaders Saddle Up for the Long Haul”

Selling Tickets to Your Field of Dreams

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to differentiate managing and coaching. Reading time: 2:34.

         You’re a newly minted leader. Yet you still think of yourself as a manager and others regard you as a coach. You are confused—almost as confused as the professional sports world must be where nomenclature seems off track.  After all the title of head honcho in basketball and football (The Coach) is different from the head  honcho in baseball (The Manager).

       Let’s clear up the confusion and better focus your role as a manager, as a coach and as a leader.

       Dusting off the baseball history books we discover the origin for calling the on-the-field boss the “manager.” Turns out before there was a front office in the world of professional baseball, the on-the-field manager also conducted management duties from selling tickets to booking hotel rooms for players on the road.

      Meanwhile the baseball manager delegated the on the field team operations to an uniformed team captain. Continue reading “Selling Tickets to Your Field of Dreams”

Feeding your Leadership with Chopsticks

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to help you balance your creating and controlling skills. Reading time: 2:57

         What a slob! The first time he tried to eat with a pair of chopsticks he ended up with a splattering of sweet and sour  sauce  on his shirt.  No wonder.  He was trying to “manage” that morsel of Hunan chicken into his mouth. Later he learned he should have been leading it there.

         Those chopsticks helped him chew on a conundrum in leadership thinking:  do leaders manage or do managers lead? Yes and yes. Leaders do manage. And managers do lead. Like chopsticks, leadership and management work together –differently–but in tandem.

      Leadership and Management need each other to be both effective and efficient. They’re interdependent. One is dynamic; the other is steady.  Both are required in high performers.

       Read on to  see how you can more productively apply the Chopstick Model of Leadership  with your management skills. Continue reading “Feeding your Leadership with Chopsticks”