I only spent a few moments with the horses I saw in Kentucky, but could tell how easily it would be to fall in love with one of those gorgeous animals. 

On our tour, we learned of several owners who had created “horse cemeteries” with tombstones and markers for their beloved equines. The more famous horses even have life-size statues and memorial parks at their grave sites. 

But the tribute that touched my heart the most was that of Karen Taylor, owner of the undefeated Triple Crown Winner Seattle Slew. Every year, Ms. Taylor sent flowers to Seattle Slew’s gravesite on each day of a triple crown race — the same flowers the winner would receive — roses on Derby Day, white carnations for the Belmont and black eyed susans on the day the Preakness was run. 

Of course, the flowers were to comfort her more than the horse, but isn’t that the case with all memorials? The point is that she made her recognition specific, both in date and type of flowers.

Think about Karen Taylor the next time you need to pay tribute to someone. Intensely personalized symbols will put you in the winner’s circle every time.

beth triplett

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

Dr. beth triplett is the owner of leadership dots, offering coaching, training and consulting for new supervisors. She also shares daily lessons on her leadershipdots blog. Her work is based on the leadership dots philosophy that change happens through the intentional connecting of small steps in the short term to the big picture in the long term.

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