All Machines Come With a MANual

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to focus on the the operator rather than simply on the operation. Reading time: 2:09.

           Consider the fictional chief executive officer who purchased a machine that could virtually run every job in his factory. Thousands of jobs were eliminated in a salute to efficiency where “two machines can replace 114 workers.”

           a man-machineFinally, when the chief engineer loses his job to the machine, he confronts the CEO:

           “They should have stopped you a year ago.

            “Somebody should have held you down and put a bit in your head and poured in some reminders that men have to eat and work!

            “And you can’t put them out to pasture. I’m a man—and that makes me better than that hunk of metal. Betttterrrr!!!!!”

           That  Twilight Zone  episode on television in the 1960s still hits a nerve of every entrepreneur trying to balance people issues and bottom-line realities.

            Continue reading “All Machines Come With a MANual”

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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”