#943 bitten

Over the holidays, relatives spent a fair amount of time challenging each other on Trivia Crack, an (apparently addictive) app of random questions.  One of the queries was about shark bites.

The media has done much to portray sharks as fierce, deadly creatures.  But in the United States, there are only about 16 attacks annually, which result in one death every other year. We hear about them because when put in perspective with the number of people who encounter sharks, they are rather rare.

Contrast that with bees.  They seem like innocuous little insects, but in actuality 54 deaths were attributed to bee stings in the U.S. in 2000 (actually to allergic reactions to the toxins in the sting).  Still, the bees are more of a menace to most than the Great Whites.

It seems that overall sharks get a bad rap and all the attention, when in reality, we would be wise to pay more attention to the bees.

It is like that in much of life.  As I have written about repeatedly, it really is the small things that make the difference.

— beth triplett
leadershipdots.blogspot.com

@leadershipdots
leadershipdots@gmail.com

Sources:  
Shark information from Wikipedia
Bee information from buzzaboutbees.net

#942 orphaned

The gloves I wrote about yesterday were an especially welcome present because I recently lost a pair of my gloves.  I am a very responsible adult, but somewhere in that warm spell when I had them shoved in my pocket instead of protecting my hands, they fell out.  I did not realize it until the weather turned cold again, and by then, I had traversed too many places to retrace my steps.


Even though I hold out no hope of finding them, I still instinctively look for them.  And what I have found is that a lot of people lose gloves.  Almost every parking lot or store entrance has one glove lying there or sitting on a ledge hoping to be reclaimed.

I wonder, if the chance of loss is so prevalent, why gloves don’t come with a natural place to write contact information so that they may be reunited with their owner.  Why doesn’t every glove have a strip inside that could contain a phone number, so when one is found the store or Good Samaritan could easily place a call?  This could apply to adults, as I can attest, as well as to children’s gloves and winter accessories.

It seems that lost gloves are a problem that everyone accepts instead of trying to solve.  Do you have things in your organization that are like that — annoyances or issues that are “just the way it is”?  Most times, like with gloves, there is a better way, if only someone would take a little time to implement it.

Try to be that someone today.

— beth triplett
leadershipdots.blogspot.com
@leadershipdots
leadershipdots@gmail.com

#941 seriously?

I received a pair of Isotoner gloves for Christmas.  They are cozy and warm and I think I will love them.

I was reading the packaging (as only marketers do) and noticed their Quality Guarantee.  It touted that their product “should be of the highest quality” and offered to replace it if it proved to be defective within one year.

But then, the kicker:  “Please return the defective product along with $5.00 for shipping and handling to…”

What?!  Who thought it would be a good idea to make the customer pay for replacement of a defective item?  It’s bad enough that a) the product was of poor quality and b) the customer has to ship the gloves back to the company, but now they want you to pay a third time to have them returned to you.  Unbelievable.  I hope their gloves are better than their guarantee.

Is your organization doing something similarly stupid without even realizing it?  Have an outside party give your customer service promise the “Isotoner test”, and hope you don’t fail it like they did.

— beth triplett
leadershipdots.blogspot.com
@leadershipdots
leadershipdots@gmail.com



#940 wonder

Over the holidays, I watched the classic How the Grinch Stole Christmas cartoon.  I think I have seen it every year since it debuted in 1966, and hope to see it again for all my Christmases to come.

I was particularly struck this time at how rudimentary the drawings are.  Dr. Seuss’s magic was in telling stories, not in fancy art.  

I think of people out there who limit themselves as to what they can do.  If someone would have looked at Ted Geisel’s drawings at face value, they may have discouraged him from becoming a children’s book author/illustrator because he may not have had the most sophisticated or commercially viable production in his art class.

But his gift was in telling stories, and creating language, and crafting them in such a way that has taught children to read and warmed hearts for decades.

Don’t limit your own possibilities.  Take your passions and create wonder around them.  

— beth triplett
leadershipdots.blogspot.com

@leadershipdots
leadershipdots@gmail.com

#939 annual

One of the presents I received for Christmas was a farmer’s almanac.  The original Robert B. Thomas Farmer’s Almanac was founded in 1792, and though Robert is obviously long gone, he still receives credit on the 2015 version as the author.

The Farmer’s Almanac #223 contains data that is “calculated on a new and improved plan for the Year of Our Lord 2015, being the 3rd after Leap Year and (until July 4) the 239th year of American Independence.”

In addition to the weather calculations, it claims to contain “new, useful and entertaining matter.”  And that it does.  It is sort of like surfing the internet, only on paper.

I learned:
> how to use coffee grounds to diminish cellulite and varicose veins

> that if we work a 40 hour work week from age 22 to 65 with 2 weeks vacation each year, we will have only spent 9 years, 10 months actually on the job!  (where does the other time go!)

> to watch on September 27-28 for the total eclipse of the Moon; the only one of four eclipses that will be seen from Iowa this year

> that a trend is more residential developments with farms on the property.  “Farms are the new golf courses.”

Take a stroll back to 1792 and pretend you are on the farm porch devouring all the interesting tidbits in the annual publication.  Everything doesn’t have to be high tech to be enjoyable.

— beth triplett
leadershipdots.blogspot.com

@leadershipdots
leadershipdots@gmail.com

#938 out to pasture

Christmas is over, and for the first time in 30 years something was not part of your holiday.  Did you miss it?

If you’re wondering what was not included in this year’s holiday tradition, the answer is the iconic Budweiser ad with the beautiful Clydesdales pulling the wagon through the snow.  

In their attempt to reach a younger demographic, Budweiser opted instead to have JZ and zombies promote their beer this holiday.  I don’t know if rappers or aliens have any more impact on purchasing, but I would bet that they don’t have the same staying power as the majestic horses.

I know we have wrestled with similar situations when considering our marketing plan.  How long do you continue to do something that doesn’t have an instant return?  If you pull something after a cycle, it could be the timing rather than the message.  If you continue for too long you’re crazy, but you could be equally foolish for changing things too often.

Apparently, I wasn’t the only ones sad to see the Clydesdales go.  Budweiser promises they will return for the Super Bowl after an outcry on social media.  I’ll bet they got more impact from pulling the holiday ad than they would have received had they run it.  

Maybe the trick is to stop doing something and see if anyone misses it!

— beth triplett
leadershipdots.blogspot.com
@leadershipdots
leadershipdots@gmail.com

Source:  Budweiser’s Clydesdales get the holiday heave-ho by Matthew Diebel, USA Today, November 24, 2014

Watch some of the famous commercials with the Clydesdales at:
http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2014/11/24/budweiser-clydesdales-to-be-put-out-to-pasture-for-the-holidays/19492009/

#937 home

It is fitting to me that today’s blog is #937, as that was the house number of the place where my family lived for all but the past three years of my life.  I referred to it as “937” when making plans to go home, and it is where I spent all the Christmases of my childhood.  

I think of all the traditions that were started at 937, and those that we have carried with us even though we now celebrate at a different place: opening stockings as soon as you wake up; that specific coffeecake from the local bakery; Mitch Miller’s Must Be Santa to start the festivities, and chocolate gold coins in every stocking (now kept in the freezer from Christmas to Christmas since no one likes to eat them!)

The memories of 937 live on, and always will, regardless of what the house number is where we gather.  I hope you have a day filled with similar joy and traditions.

Merry Christmas!

— beth triplett
leadershipdots.blogspot.com
@leadershipdots
leadershipdots@gmail.com