Leadership Mints Series Sampler: Treasuring Your Tension

Sleep tight.

That phrase stems from the Colonial days when beds were tied to the bed frame. Back in the day you would tighten the ropes and strengthen the tension to enhance the comfort of the mattress.

Tension can generate added performance.

No wonder leaders treasure a measure of tension.

Without tension the 639 muscles in your body would atrophy.

But with tension, the muscles in the human body pull on the bones during exercise and stimulate their growth.

The most effective leaders know that tension — measured and treasured — can spark considerable achievement as author Harry Emerson Fosdick observes in his book Living Under Tension:

“No horse gets anywhere
UNTIL he is harnessed.

No steam or gas engine ever drives anything
UNTIL it is confined.

No Niagara is ever turned into light and power
UNTIL it is tunneled.

No life ever grows great
UNTIL it is focused,
dedicated and disciplined.

And no one can begin leading without first harnessing and focusing the opportunity with a tension that is both measured and treasured.

To more fully embrace the value of tension in leveraging your capability in thinking like a leader, consider purchasing a 280-page book that is available now on Amazon.com.


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 others books focus on leading with empathy LOVING LIKE A LEADER and leading with civility SPEAKING LIKE A LEADER.


Harnessing Your Tension

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy
Here’s an idea to help you cope with stressful situations. Reading time: 3:21

      The stock is down. Business is falling off. Morale is even lower.

      Handkerchief_Irish_Hemstitrch_NEWThe CEO opens his staff meeting with what everyone expected, announcing no bonuses will be paid this year “but I do have a gift for each of you.”

      The CEO passes out monogrammed set of handkerchiefs to each of his 8 direct reports. How embarrassing!

      The executives were angry that the CEO would stoop to putting his whole team on some sort of guilt trip while he berated their collective performance .

      “ No, no, no crying jag this morning. No wiping our bloodied noses either,” said the CEO quickly plugging what seemed like the rumbling Volcano of Vindictiveness.

      He unfolded one of his handkerchiefs and spread it out on the table. All eyes were glued to the 12-inch white square contrasted against the mahogony table in the executive conference room.

      The CEO finally intoned “I think of this handkerchief as a kind of trampoline.” Continue reading “Harnessing Your Tension”