Yesterday was a picture perfect afternoon — a great day to take vacation and go to the county fair.  Mother Nature’s cooperation seemed to make the fair more popular than ever, so people-watching added to the fun of the livestock barns, a trapeze show, 4-H exhibits and of course the fast-talking salesman hawking pots and pans.

For most people, the fair experience would be incomplete without experiencing some of the signature foods that are offered.  Most popular at this fair is the homemade lemonade.  It is the first stand that you see when you walk in, and it always has a line.  For $2.50/glass, you get a bunch of ice, a healthy dose of sugar water, and a small amount of the actual lemon juice.  But they throw in a few pieces of the real lemon (to demonstrate authenticity?) and sell crazy amounts of the stuff.  The newspaper estimated that the Community Y (the squeezers) purchased 6,440 lemons to make 12,500 glasses of lemonade during the course of the six day fair.  

So what did I do when I got to the fair?  Stood in line and got the lemonade, of course.  I could live without the also-popular funnel cake (600 sold on the first day), the Fair Fries, ice cream from the Dairy Barn or any of the other county fair treats, but the lemonade is one of the main reasons I go.  I wouldn’t buy it if I could have it every day, but it has become that once-a-year treat — a summer ritual.

What does your organization do that is equivalent to homemade lemonade?  Do you offer a limited product or service that has become your signature? Or is there something that you could do on special occasions? Maybe your holiday party is known for its over-the-top desserts.  Maybe your holiday card is eagerly anticipated for its creativity and cleverness.  Maybe you give major clients/donors an appreciation gift that is in demand.  Or perhaps you have window displays that draw crowds.  I am sure there is something that is worth the extra effort to make it special for that once-a-year reason.

If the Community Y can create a frenzy over a paper cup of lemonade, think of what you can do!

— beth triplett

Source:  Telegraph Herald, July 25, 2013

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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