Currently I own enough Sharpie markers to write continuously for several years.  I am a pen lover in general, but Sharpies are the creme de la creme — if you are only writing on one side of the page, they are perfect.  I almost always have one within arm’s reach.

In addition to the dozens of “regular” Sharpies that I have, there are two that have special significance:  one, I used to sign a beam that is now in the World Trade Center and another was used for autographs at Cardinals spring training.

I don’t know why I have such a fetish for this particular brand, but I do.  I can barely walk by them in a store without wanting more.  

Apparently I am not the only Sharpie groupie out there.  At you can “join the Sharpie community” and upload pictures of your Sharpie creations.  People have decorated entire rooms only using Sharpies; they have made music videos about them and done outdoor murals.  There are Sharpie blogs, a Sharpie Squad and more ideas than you can imagine.  Their tagline:  “you can do anything with a Sharpie.”

Maybe that is true, but I adore this product in an apparently boring and conventional way — I use them to write!  

But how can you take a lesson from Sharpie and use the web and social media to foster a community with your brand?  Is there a product or service associated with your organization that you can encourage people to use in novel and even outlandish ways?  I’m sure you could whip out a Sharpie and be inspired to create a wonderful plan on how to do so!

— beth triplett

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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