Tag Archives: Warren Bennis

Continuous Learning: Leaders Take It Personally

 By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to increase your learning potential. Reading time: 3:17.

      As a boy, Thomas Edison once sat on a geese eggs for hours to learn for himself how eggs are hatched. Bizarre?  Peter the Great wore an engraved seal when he became the first Russian czar to tour Europe on a learning expedition. The seal read: “I am a pupil and need to be taught.” Weird?


      Not really. Leaders are learners.

       Leaders embrace William Ward’s contention that “curiosity is the wick in the candle of learning.” The most effective leaders continue to learn and earn their Ph.D – their Personally Harbored Discipline. And “Discipline” is a key leadership talent. The word –Discipline–stems from the Latin word for learning and learners (Disciples). Continue reading

What’s Your YQ –Your Yield Question?

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to increase your creativity and imagination. Reading time: 2:54

         Leaders answer questions. Better leaders question answers. And the best leaders I have found question questions. In fact, the best leaders are always striving to raise their YQ –their Yield Questions.

        No wonder. Yield questions yield more meaning than mere answers.

        Like the farmer who seeks a greater crop yield per acre, so too the leader leverages his or her YQ to yield more meaningful ideas per thought: creative ideas that spark discovery, insightful ideas that spur  innovation and productive ideas that spearhead  achievement.

      Questions probe new paths of self-discovery. When you question yourself, you think. When you question input, you judge. When you question output, you evaluate. When you question systemically and systematically, you improve.

      Yield questions enhance  leadership. In his book, Leadership Jazz, Max De Pree writes: “The quality of our work as leaders and the quality of our lives depends significantly on the questions we ask and the people about whom we ask the questions.” Warren Bennis, in his book Why Leaders Can’t Lead , writes that truth begins with questions. Continue reading

Getting To Know You Intimately

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

         Here’s an idea to gain EVEN more productivity from your staff.

“Getting to know you.
Getting to know all about you.
Getting to feel free and easy
When I’m with you.
Getting to know what to say.”

—From “The King and I”

        I am convinced that Anna’s  song in The King and I  is the anthem of the most effective leaders I have known.  Those leaders don’t have to study the research that says the MOST important leadership skill is taking a sincere personal interest in your employees.   They already know it.

Lewis and Clark with guide/interpreter Sacagawea

         In fact, the most effective leaders  know it is more productive for them to understand their followers than it is for their  followers to understand them,  as author Garry Wills notes in his book Certain Trumpets.

    Forget the touchy/feeling stuff.  There’s a bottom-line, performance-driven  significance to that getting-to-know-you focus on followers.

    Consider the success of the Lewis and Clark expedition, the three-year, 7,000-mile plus exploration of unknown land from the Dakotas to the Pacific that would virtually double the size of the United States of America.

     Lewis and Clark persisted, leading their team over  the Rocky Mountains, despite hardship,  hostile natives and illness.  They   succeeded in part because they got to know their followers, as noted historian Stephen Ambrose notes in his book Undaunted Courage. Continue reading