Leading With The Most Powerful Drug

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to enhance your ability to communicate effectively. Reading time: 3:04

        What if you had a powerful drug that you could dispense virtually at will that could stimulate productivity and increase profitability in your company or organization? And what if this powerful drug was free, legal and available over the counter?

     a words  You do. And it is.

       The spoken word is the “the most powerful drug used by mankind,” observes author and poet Rudyard Kipling.

        Indeed the most effective leaders carefully prescribe, dose and deliver their drugs (words) of choice knowing how quickly they can react in a human body to either sedate or educate; inflame or inform; frighten or enlighten.

      But sometimes –words like drugs- can have egregious side effects, especially if not administered with the precise emphasis and timing.

      Consider the routine conversation over lunch, when the French lady was asked by her English speaking friends what she was looking forward to in the years ahead. The French woman responded without any hesitation: “A penis” After everyone blushed, a friend said, “Oh you mean happiness.” ” Yes,” she nodded “A penis.”

      Continue reading “Leading With The Most Powerful Drug”

M.C. Escher: Drawing Out the Paradox of a Leader

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to cope with an ever- changing workplace. Reading time: 3:15.

         If leadership is an art, then artist M.C. Escher must be The Leader’s patron saint.

M.C. Escher’s Relativity is Staircase Crazed

          The famed artist, who expressed 3-D images in a 2-D format in lithographs with a flair for physics-defying perspective,  seemed to capture the chaos and paradox of change agentry that envelops every leader.

        After all a leader’s world often seems upside down and turned around — a topsy turvy world where the floors seem like ceilings; the tables tops become streets and people walking on staircases seem to be going both up and down.

      M.C. Escher’s art did all that and more.

     Escher’s paintings reflect the conflicting paradoxical world of a leader who is regularly gored on the horns of a dilemma.

     Escher’s paintings also reflect the conflicting paradoxical world a leader regularly challenged to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function. That paradox is the test of a first-rate mind as author F. Scott Fitzgerald once observed.

     No wonder poet Rudyard Kipling suggested that leaders be able to meet with both triumph and disaster and “treat those two imposters just the same or walk with kings nor lose the common touch.”

    Twisting and turning against the winds of change, leaders come to see the paradoxical –the conflicting and complex —  as normal business conditions.

    In fact, Paradox Thinking is so common that you’d think your brain would come wired with sideswipe safety switch like the switch that every traffic light is built with Continue reading “M.C. Escher: Drawing Out the Paradox of a Leader”

Attitude: Parlaying Your Power of Poise

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to maintain your poise in the face of frustration. Reading time: 3:32

       The bees are swarming. What do you do? Silly question isn’t it? You run for cover of course. Unless you’re an extremely experienced bee keeper. Many of them not only remain poised but also uncovered.

DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME: Experienced (read stung many times before) bee keeper is poised under pressure.

        Amazing. A small percentage of beekeepers actually wear no protective clothing on their bare arms or faces.  Those most vulnerable beekeepers exhibit a key leadership skill: calm and confident expertise in a crisis.

     They’ve learned how to adapt. They’ve been stung so many times they are seemingly immune to the pain. In fact, I wonder if poet Rudyard Kipling had beekeepers in mind when he wrote his poem IF:

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
… Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And–which is more–you’ll be a Man, my son!

        Or a Woman, my daughter. Poise is power. In fact that ability to find sanctuary, to remain calm, poised, and collected when the world around you is spinning out of control is a critical leadership skill that strengthens your performance.

      Consider a famous bee keeper of sorts: Joe Torre, former manager of the New York Yankees. He earned a reputation as an unflappable leader who kept his head when others around him were losing theirs.  “Be intense but not tense,”observed  Torre, who snapped the Yankee’s 18-year barring from the World Series throne room and then went on to win the World Series in four of next five years.  The more tense the situation got the calmer Torre got and the better his teams performed under pressure. You got the feeling he didn’t need to wear protective clothing around the bees swarming in his hive known as the New York media pressure cooker.

     Unfortunately  there’s aren’t that many poised leaders like Joe Torre. There are more leader wanna bees than worker bees. They are more tense that intense. They are more caught up in the day-to-day rat race. They are more apt to Continue reading “Attitude: Parlaying Your Power of Poise”