Tag Archives: William James

Teacher Leaders Make Learning Fun

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to enhance your teaching effectiveness. Reading time: 4:02

      You’re at the top of your game- a subject matter expert who swings a mighty bat in the major leagues of your profession. Baseball_GameOther big hitters envy your prowess and seek your advice, guidance, and direction.

       But then you throw them all curve ball.

     You voluntarily give up that challenging and ego-building prestige, power and position to coach Little Leaguers.

      Now you’re teaching youngsters too inexperienced to appreciate the finer points of the game; youngsters still groping with the fundamentals of the game, youngsters still struggling to get a hit let alone hitting home runs like you did metaphorically and regularly on your Field of Dreams.

      Some of these Little Leaguers are frustrated with baseball. Others are bored by it. Many are questioning why they even tried out to play baseball any way. And now you have to baby sit and cajole young minds to focus on your baseball specialty whether they want to or not.

      Who would ever suffer this coaxing and coaching headache instead of basking in the limelight of power and prestige? Leaders, that’s who. Leaders like Enrico Fermi.

   The Father of Atomic Fission would volunteer to teach a first-year college physics class because it challenged him to make learning physics more fun, more relevant, more meaningful in their day-to-day lives. Continue reading

Filling Up Your Fool Tank

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to clarify your decision-making skill. Reading time: 2:58.

           The chief executive officer (CEO) nodded approvingly as her strategic policy team reviewed the highlights of their careful research.

        a indecision  a diceTheir decision-making process —— imbued in detailed documentation and sprinkled with broad expertise and experience —- was right on target, especially after six months of very detailed review  and a meaningful consensus on the situation that seemed to counter  all objections. All agreed including the CEO: this was the direction to go.

        But then the CEO surprised everyone. She abruptly adjourned the meeting “to give ourselves time to develop disagreement and perhaps gain even more understanding of what this decision is all about.”

        Indeed, the CEO reaffirmed that the most effective leaders regularly pump high performance “fool” into their decision-making tanks: The CEO understood her responsibility to guard against the overwhelming power of group-think, citing the notion that:

                    ” When everyone thinks alike, then somebody isn’t thinking.”

        And that CEO saw first hand what psychologist William James once said, “What the whole community comes to believe grasps the individual as in a vise.”

         No wonder the most effective leaders break out of that vise-like grip. They realize the significance in first filling up their Fool Tank, lest their new path of decision-making  run out of gas.

       Continue reading

Productivity: Sole-Searching for Optimum Success

 By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

          James Michener authored more than 40 books. “Which one of  your books was your favorite?” Michener was often asked. His answer was always the same:  “The next one.”

        Likewise the most effective leaders I’ve known are more apt to look forward than celebrate or bemoan the past. They are much like Santiago, the old man in Ernest Hemingway’s classic : The Old Man and the Sea.” It didn’t matter than he had not caught a fish in 84 days. On the 85th day he not only went out fishing but ventured father out into sea than ever before.

     For leaders like Santiago, it’s always the next problem to solve, the next project to plan and execute, the next hill to climb. It’s more about the pursuit than the capture, more about mining than the minting of the proverbial gold.  Continue reading