Uncorking Diversity in a Bottle of Wine

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to enhance your appreciation of diversity. Reading time: 3:36.

            The fine wine glasses looked conspicuously out of place, especially at 9 am in a team project room. The team leader was pouring what seemed to be white wine as his team members assembled for their next project update meeting.

            “Yes, I know it’s still early but I think a toast is in order,” the team leader said.

           He served the filled wine glasses to his seven team members who all looked at him like he just had a nervous breakdown. Alcohol in a project room or anywhere on campus was against company policy. And besides it was 9 in the morning. Most folks were still on their second cup of coffee.

          The team leader smiled and said, “No, no. It’s just water.” Now everyone thought the team leader had snapped. The team leader took a sip and then he offered his toast.

         “I’ve always been intrigued that you can make white wine from a red grapes,” said the team leader, hoisting his glass to showcase the clear liquid with a tinge of lemon food coloring.

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Feeding Others When Your Cupboard Is Bare

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to strengthen your sense of resourcefulness. Reading time: 2:10.

              It’s the July 4th holiday weekend. People flock to your house. More than expected. You run out of food. So, in a panic, you raid your refrigerator. But all you find is four-day old bread, a few eggs, Romano cheese and some Romaine lettuce. What do you do?

             You improvise. That’s what Caesar Cardini did on Friday July 4, 1924 when his restaurant in Tijuana, Mexico ran out of food supplies. Caesar improvised with whatever he had on hand. And Caesar invented: Yep, you guessed it, Caesar salad.

       Effective leaders improvise.

         They see ahead beyond what they don’t have. They see ahead to what they could have. In fact the word “improvise” stems from the Latin “to see ahead.”

          Leaders see ahead to innovate resources and to broaden marketing opportunities. Caesar Cardini compensated for the lack of food supplies with his resourcefulness and showmanship.

           He tossed his Caesar salad in a large wooden bowl in front of the patron’s table while other patrons looked on and the curiosity got the best of them.

         Caesar gave us all a solid leadership lesson 88 years ago today with the same innovative spirit that gave birth to America 236 years ago today: leverage whatever you have on hand and  turn your tunnel vision into funnel vision. Consider the possibilities.  Not the improbabilities.

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