Tag Archives: mentoring

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:


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.

Leadership Mints Sampler: COLLABORATING Like a Leader

Developing and growing a productive collaborating climate is a key theme in THINKING Like a Leader, one of three books in The Leadership Mints Series. Here is a quick peek at the  24 Leadership Mints (short stories on leadership principles) that focus on Collaborating in Part III.

This overview is excerpted from the 280-page book that is now available at Amazon.com. in both print and e-book versions.


In thinking like a leader, you depend on others (Mint 53).

You partner with others (Mints 54-55).

You adapt to others (Mint 56).

You conduct your meetings with a premise for and about others (Mint 57).

You wear your name tag the right way (Mint 58).

You slow down (Mint 60).

You take a time out (59).

You get a peace of the action (Mint 61).

You free others (Mint 62) to work better together (Mint 70).

You light the way (Mint 63).

You fill-in the gaps for others (Mint 64).

You consistently prepare (Mint 76).

You coach others (Mint 65) and rally your rivals (Mint 66).

You earn the permission of the public (Mint 67).

You guard against your own ego blinding you (Mint 68).

You project the face others expect of you (Mint 69).

You champion diversity (Mint 71).

You leverage diversity (Mint 77).

You praise thoughtfully (Mint 72).

You accept criticism responsibly (Mint 73).

And you maintain self control (Mint 74) especially in reprimanding others (Mint 75).

THINKING LIKE A Leader is the first book in The 3-book Leadership Mints Series designed to help leaders refresh their feeling for leading on-the-go with stories on leadership principles called Leadership Mints that like the candy are easily accessed,  quickly digested and immediately refreshing.

The other two books in the Leadership Mints Series focus on leading with empathy (LOVING Like a Leader) featuring 77 more Leadership Mints (stories) and leading with civility featuring 52 Leadership Mints (stories) (SPEAKING Like a Leader)

Tofu & You: Sauteing Your Leadership Entree

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to remind you are who you associate with. Reading time: 2:26    


     The Tofu sizzling in the vegetable stir fry looked bland in the pan yet tasted grand on the tongue. How come?

Tofu stir fry

Tofu stir fry

     The answer just may do more than expand the versatility in your tantalizing palate.  It just might also broaden the diversity in your leadership palette to solve problems more creatively and productively.

     Think of Tofu as an aromatic sponge that soaks up air-borne smells in a Marinating Magic Show and provides us a metaphor to brighten up and your leadership skills no matter how bland you may feel now doing ordinary work in an ordinary job.

      Like Tofu, your leadership skill sets, sizzle in a skillet, especially when you are stirred around in a variety of diverse flavors, tastes, vegetable juices etc.

       Call it the Tofu Tango.

       Indeed, the more you dance with the stars –leaders in their own fields–the brighter you feel.

       You become a part of all you touch and all who touch you impart something of themselves in you that lasts over time and shapes your thinking, guides your soul and alerts your mind to the opportunities and obstacles ahead.

       Continue reading

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

Relationship Building: Walking the Talk Step by Step

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to enhance your mentoring relationships. Reading time: 2:04.

             Walking along the beach, I followed in the footprints of a previous beachcomber.

             Those footprints got me to thinking about the Footprints poem of Margaret Fishback that Hallmark Cards acquired and popularized.

               In addition to the obvious spiritual and religious connotation, the poem also sets the stage to salute the merits of developing, designing and nurturing an on-going meaningful and relevant mentoring relationship.

             As you take your mentoring relationships to the next level of trust and understanding consider this adaptation of the  Footprints  poem:

Mentoring Footprints In the Sand

            I had a dream that I was walking along the beach toward a major presentation I was supposed to make. I sensed my mentor was walking with me although I did not see him.

            I only saw two sets of footprints in the sand. But as I got to my meeting to make this major presentation, I looked back at the footprints in the sand. There was only one set of footprints.

            I felt abandoned at the very time I needed my mentor. I was forced to give my presentation without my mentor. I was frustrated, angry I’m not sure what I was feeling but it wasn’t good.

             I confronted my mentor. I said: “You told me when I decided to follow you, you would walk and talk with me all the way. But when I needed you most, just at the time of my presentation you left me.”

           The leader whispered: “When you saw only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.”

               Effective leaders carry others into the limelight without getting carried away in their own spotlight. And in the process, effective leaders leave behind an imprint deeper than any footprint .

Today’s ImproveMINT

 Lift Others Up Anonymously to  keep your leadership thinking in mint condition.

SUBSCRIBE: Have a Leadership Mint delivered to your E-mail every business day. It’s free. Just click the SIGN ME UP box in the upper left column.