Staying the Course 24/7

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to enhance your productivity. Reading time: 2:57

       You’ve been hustling for the last 33 hours, chasing down one detail after another. You’re exhausted yet relieved.

     success FINALLY! Your project is completed. On time and under budget.  And you’re ready to celebrate.

      Not so fast. There’s still work to do. At least to the most effective leaders.

       They’re too busy planting more proverbial fruit for tomorrow while TODAY everyone else is enjoying the fruits of their labor.

      At least that’s what Charles Lindbergh did when he completed his project –a grueling, history-making, solo trans-Atlantic flight in 33.5 hours. Lindbergh hadn’t slept in 61 hours. He hadn’t eaten in more than 30 hours.

     Yet his first words upon landing in Paris wasn’t how thrilled he was or even where’s the bathroom. No, Charles Lindbergh, was still Continue reading “Staying the Course 24/7”

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Beyond Experience: Keeping It Real & Relevant

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to enhance your confidence. Reading time: 2:56.

             In a leadership review meeting, an executive complained that the candidate lacked experience. “Wait a minute,” objected another executive, “he’s got at least 10 years experience with his former company. “Yeah, right,” demurred the executive, “More like one year of experience 10 times.”

             Leaders know they have to keep it real. Every day is a new experience. Not a redo or a redux but a rekindling and rejuvenating; a renewal and revival.

            Leaders step on the platform of yesterday only to soar higher today without paying too much attention to past limitations.

          Consider Charles Lindbergh. He became the first to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean even though he had never flown half as far as he did over those 33.5 hours from New York to Paris 1927. Lindbergh, at 25, didn’t know what he didn’t know and proceeded onward with an insight, with a vision, with a mission burning and yearning within him of youthful exuberance. Lindbergh called it “the poet’s eye.” Continue reading “Beyond Experience: Keeping It Real & Relevant”

Customer Leadership Mint #1: Staying Relevant

This is the 1st of a 10-part series on Customer Leadership.

In this LEADERSHIP MINTS series, we celebrate the 100th anniversary of Steelcase Inc. (founded March 16, 1912) and salute Customer Leaders (a.k.a employees) who have consistently driven Steelcase Inc  as the worldwide, office-furniture industry leader for most of its 100 years serving/leading customers.  Today let’s examine Customer Leadership from an historical perspective at Steelcase Inc., the $2.4 billion company, headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

            Here’s an example of meeting a customer’s specific need.

           How do you lead your industry let alone stay in business for 100 years? Stay relevant. Especially in customer-izing your products or services to serve a specific customer need –from Charles Lindbergh’s historic trans-Atlantic flight to collaborating with famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright to playing a supporting role when General Douglas MacArthur acceped the Japanese surrender ceremony ending World War II.

Steelcase outfitted Charles Lindbergh's touring plane with a customized desk he used to sign autographs.

         That’s the customer leadership performance that we begin examining today with a series of 10 Leadership Mints over the next 10 business days. These Leadership Mints, short stories on customer leadership, are designed to freshen our bottom-line thinking on business success that Steelcase Inc. has earned en route to celebrating its 100th anniversary in March.

     “If ever a company marched to its own drummer, this one does– and in perfect step.”

         More than 25 years ago, Forbes Magazine cited Steelcase Inc. –the world’s leading office furniture maker – for its unique leadership style in a 5-page story titled “The Steel Behind Steelcase” in the October 7, 1985 issue. “If ever a company marched to its own drummer, this one does—and in perfect step,” opined editor James Michaels. “All very sui generis.”

           Consider these historical highlights:

         The year: 1927. The place: Paris. The event: Charles Lindbergh soars the Atlantic. Lucky Lindy pilots his Spirit of St. Louis 33.5 hours over 3,610 miles of ocean from New York– the first solo pilot across the Atlantic. And after his triumphant flight, he celebrated with a promotional tour across the United States. When Charles Lindbergh came to Grand Rapids, Steelcase Inc. was there, outfitting his touring plane with a customized desk.

            Continue reading “Customer Leadership Mint #1: Staying Relevant”