Tag Archives: problem solving

Factoring So Much More Than 1+1

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to help you be more strategic in your problem-solving. Reading time: 2:56.

       One and one don’t always add up to two. At least not to astronomer Sir Arthur Eddington.

        ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????He noted that we often think that when we have competed the study of ONE, we know all about TWO, that TWO is ONE and ONE. “We forget that we still have to make a study of AND.”

       That’s what leaders do. They make a strategic study of AND. They don’t grab at the easiest solution. They broaden their reach. They grasp at what could be plausible not simply possible.

       They don’t settle for stating the following letters in order: IMPOSSIBLE. Instead they restate for added emphasis the same letters in the same order: I’M POSSIBLE.

        Likewise when confronted with a mathematical proportion problem, they don’t grab for the most obvious course of action. Instead they grasp at the larger more strategic issue to solve the real problem. They seek to answer the more defining and refining question: AND? No wonder former 60 Minutes investigative interviewer Mike Wallace always said that one word –AND?–was his most revealing question. Leaders  command  the strategic study of AND.

        Consider the pizza restaurant that sponsored a back-to-school promotion. Continue reading

Collaborate With Off-the-Wall Thinking

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

                     Here’s an idea to spice up your staff meetings with a brainstorming session. Reading time: 4:19

         POST IT NOTES With a sense of urgency in every step, the corporate executive marched into the conference room and glared at his colleagues seated for their weekly staff meeting.

          Then an eerie, tension-filled, pregnant silence commandeered the the safety and security of the conference room.

          It felt as if were High Noon at the OK Corral.

        Suddenly the leader seemed like a gunslinger, itching for some action. He flung his hand into his pocket and drew– OUT a stack of Post-It notes. He waved them around as if they were a gun, and commanded: ”STICK ‘EM, UP! ”

       They did.

       Within a few minutes the surrounding walls were festooned with 3X5 cards and Post-it notes in so many colors they looked like butterflies hovering over the walls.

      Indeed the most effective leaders turn meeting rooms into team thinking rooms.  They have a penchant for displaying and sharing ideas that involve all meeting participants. Continue reading

Parachuting From Fright to Insight

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to sharpen your sense of perspective. Reading time: 3:27

         There I was on a precarious perch.
Just inches away from the plane’s open door.
Just inches away from the engine’s deafening roar.
Just inches away from the winds screaming call.
Just inches away from a 4,000 foot fall.
Just inches away from my first parachute jump.

        I looked down.  My eyes blurred.  My palms moistened.  Fright drained the saliva from my mouth.  I was about to learn a significant leadership lesson in overcoming fear.  Sweat trickled down my forehead.  Wind flooded my face.

       Wrestling,  against that 80-mile-an-hour wind,  I struggled to fling my legs out the side of the single engine airplane.  I planted my toe on the 3-inch wide step. And let go.

        Plunging, plummeting, toppling and tumbling,  I fell 242 feet in four seconds.  Suddenly,  the screaming air quieted.  The roaring engine faded.

      My fearful, tearful eyes opened in awe wonder and majesty.  I looked up and there it was:  the most beautiful flower I have ever seen blossoming in the sky. Continue reading