#1247 masked

So what will you be for trick-or-treating or Halloween partying tonight?

If you want to be like everyone else, here are the three costumes predicted to be most popular:
> Donald Trump
> Left Shark (from the Katy Perry video)
> Jon Snow (Game of Thrones)

What happened to Spiderman and princesses?  

Apparently Halloween is appealing to a much older demographic as time goes on.  In 1993, the most popular costumes were Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Barney the Dinosaur.  In 1997, it was Batman and Catwoman.  In 2004, Spongebob Squarepants was the favorite.  Even last year, Elsa and Olaf from Frozen were seen on more doorsteps.  But this year, the adult themes rule.

Whether it is costumes, music genres, technology use or food preferences, themes change.  You need to make a conscious effort to stay abreast of how your demographic is shifting and what is popular for them today.  

Don’t get scared by something that jumps out at you in the night because you weren’t paying attention.  There are lots of tricks on how to provide treats to your audience.

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


Thanks to Megan for sharing the costume history in her nugget!

#1246 behind the curtain

Sometimes I read the headlines of the newspaper and wonder how they could have chosen the topic as a front page story.  How did that make it “above the fold?” I ask…

…and then I remember it is because the purpose of the media is to make money, not to report the news.  What will sell gets top billing; not what will inform.

I think it’s a similar situation with professional sports teams.  When I lived in St. Louis, there was a public uproar when they traded Albert Pujols.  He was beloved in the city, not only for his athletic talents, but for his civic involvement and generosity.  People couldn’t believe that the front office wouldn’t keep him in town…

…because they felt like the Cardinals were a community trust, not a business.  In reality, sports teams are out to make a profit, not be a charity in the towns where they reside.

Newspapers and athletic franchises remind me of for-profit universities (like Phoenix and Kaplan) who tout their on-line conveniences and accelerated pathways for adults to finally finish their degrees…

…only their true motive is generating revenue, not learning.  They are not altruistically providing people with a meaningful college education, rather using access to federal funding to fill their coffers in exchange for credentials.

If you want to understand the motivations of other people or organizations, spend some thought considering the underlying “why” behind their behavior.  Most people will act consistent with their values, even if they do so by pretending to value what they think you do.

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



with influences from Start with Why by Simon Sinek

#1245 graupel

In Blog #1095, I wrote about the plethora of special weather statements.  We received another such alert yesterday.  It read: “Windy conditions and rain mixed with graupel this afternoon.”  

Graupel?  What the heck is graupel? The Washington Post called it “the wintry precipitation you’ve never heard of.”

It turns out that graupel is formed when snow starts high in the atmosphere, but then melts. Graupel is “snow pellets that form when supercooled droplets of water are collected and freeze on a falling snowflake.*” It comes to the ground as “soft hail.”

I think graupel can be a metaphor for organizational culture.  What influences an institution’s culture is happening beyond the cloud cover, and is different than what presents itself in everyday life.  If leaders aren’t paying attention to the conditions high up in the atmosphere, they may miss cues that the situation is worse than the morale they see everyday.  Warning signs could be there that the rain will become snow or hail, but those only looking out the window may be oblivious to it.

It may sound counter intuitive, but like the meteorologists, leaders need to pay attention to the unseen.  Use your instruments to examine what is in the clouds before your graupel becomes hail or your culture experiences a storm.

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


Blog #1095 “alert” June 1, 2015

Graupel: The wintry precipitation you’ve never heard of by Don Lipman, Washington Post, December 5, 2014

*Wikipedia: Graupel


#1244 found

I was going through my email and found a message from a former employee who had sent me her address to “keep in touch.”  It came during the opening-of-school craziness and I did not have much more than a minute to reply.  So I waited until I had time to compose a more thorough update…

…and here we are, almost two months later.  I am sorry to say that I have not made time to be any better of correspondent than I would have been when I first received the email.

Note the choice of words:  made the time vs. found the time.  There is no such thing as found time — you consciously dedicate your minutes to something or it passes without intention.  There is no time to be found.

The next time you have a task that you believe to be important, commit right then to a time to complete it.  Your chances of finding extra hours are about as good as finding that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

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

#1243 good deed

The pin recently fell out of my watchband, so I took it to the local jeweler to be repaired.  I was expecting to drop it off, come back to get it in a few days and pay to have the work done.

Instead, the jeweler handed it back to me in about five minutes.  When I asked him how much, he looked at his watch and said: “Well, it’s 4:30 and I haven’t done my good deed for the day yet, so I guess this is it.”  

I was ecstatic!  Not only did I love that I had no waiting, no return trip and not even any payment, but I was especially taken with his phrasing.  

Have you done your good deed for the day yet?  Don’t let 4:30 pass you by without making the day brighter for someone else.

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

#1242 litter lessons

Over the weekend I had the good fortune to play with an 8-week old retriever puppy.  I was in love!

The owner talked about the possibility of getting another pup from a later litter (as retrievers really are pack animals and do better in pairs.)  Her comment caused an immediate flashback to when I acquired my dogs.  

I, too, got one from one litter and another later — and essentially endured three years of puppy antics because of it.  I often lamented about not just getting two from the first litter and being done with it…

…but then I would not have my Iris (don’t tell, but she’s my favorite!)  I’m sure puppy #2 would have been wonderful, but she wouldn’t be the same.

The bottom line lesson for me in all of this is to accept your circumstances as they are.  Yes, there would have been distinct benefits of having a shortened puppy-training period, but there would have been losses from that as well.  

Keep your speculation to events you have control over instead of playing “what if” while looking in the past. Yesterday’s bone is buried.

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

#1241 thorns

I love fresh flowers, and almost always have a bouquet on my kitchen counter.  I buy them at the farmer’s market or at the grocery store; nothing fancy, but they make me smile.

Over Labor Day, the whole display of flowers at Walmart was decrepit.  I figured that someone forgot to water them over the holiday weekend and didn’t think much of it.  But then it happened again, and again for a third weekend.  The flowers on prime display — what you see when you first walk in — were a carousel of d.e.a.d. blooms.

Obviously Walmart’s procedures didn’t evolve to accommodate a product that requires more attention than the stocking of tissues or garbage bags. There are times when it is wiser to stick with a narrow offering and do what you do well.  This was one of those times.  

The next time you are tempted to expand into areas that require a different type of expertise than what you currently master, head into the garden with caution.  Roses have blooms, but they also have thorns — which live much longer than the blossoms do.

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