In Deference to Difference

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to reinforce the power in diversity. Reading time: 3:21

      Natural gas is odorless –yet you can still smell leaking gas. Why?

      wind 1 powerlinesUtility companies add a chemical– methyl mercaptan– that gives the natural gas an unnatural scent.

      And some might say a life-saving accent.

      Adding that chemical –that beneficial difference —to the natural gas is symbolic of effective leadership.

       That’s because the most effective leaders bring together diverse elements to create a more productive, more efficient, and more effective working environment.  They understand that diversity can enrich, engage and empower creative and critical thinking skills.

      Indeed, effective leaders marshal a greater deference to difference. They foster a greater respect for the mastery of –and the majesty in — diversity.

      And no wonder, even Mother Nature’s awesome power stems from her deference to differences like these:

      Electricity flows because of the difference between a positive charge and a negative charge.

      Water flows because of the difference in water pressure.
Continue reading “In Deference to Difference”

Creativity: Milking Mother Nature For Ideas

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

 Here’s an idea to rev up your creative engines by taking a walk in a field. Reading time: 3:02

            Go ahead. Play hooky from the office. You owe it to your creative thought process. Still feeling guilty? Read on. Learn how three very creative leaders became outstanding in their field by literally STANDING OUT in their field.

cow leftside

Grant Wood masterpiece
Grant Wood’s “American Gothic”masterpiece

        Consider the teenager who stood out in a field and watched the harvesting of hay — row by row. He invented the television. The rows of hay gave Philo T. Farnsworth the idea of scanning and displaying a picture – row by row-on the television screen.

         A Swiss engineer also stood out in a field and subsequently invented Velcro. Georges de Mestral, using a microscope in 1941,  noticed how the hooks on the burrs and loops in the cotton fabric in his socks stuck together after he took a walk into the woods.

       Then consider the teenager, who at 14, ran a successful nail manufacturing business. One day he stood out in a field and subsequently invented the cotton gin. Eli Whitney got the idea of the claw-like machine that would pull the cotton fiber through a fence-like grid by observing a fox clawing through the chicken coop after a chicken and getting nothing but feathers.

      That field-day of the innovating proved productive and profitable. Consider the fields a place to field your fortune. After all, Grant Wood — the bucolic artist of such masterpieces at American Gothic--said he got his greatest ideas while milking cows!  Continue reading “Creativity: Milking Mother Nature For Ideas”

Mothering Mother Nature’s Butterfly Effect

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to help become more aware of your working environment. Reading time: 3:15.

B29 Bomber Cockpit at a Vintage Aircraft Show

           The pilots were stunned.  They were flying way too fast, more than 100 miles an hour faster than their B-29 bombers has been designed to fly during  World War II.

      The unplanned speed played havoc with their aim: fewer than five percent of their bombs accurately hit their planned targets.

     And no wonder when nearly 100 American airplanes found themselves inadvertently swept up into the jet stream — the ribbon of fast flowing air at high altitudes. Then at 30,000 feet those pilots were flying under the influence of the outside environment as never before and they had to adapt or fail.

            Leaders know the feeling of being pushed along by outside forces beyond their control, just like those B-29 pilots.

      And that’s why the most effective leaders are those who constantly monitor and adapt to their ever changing working environment.

         That means leaders have to be very aware of what others may take for granted –like the wind in particular and Mother Nature– in general. Continue reading “Mothering Mother Nature’s Butterfly Effect”