Happy International Women’s Day!

This holiday has been designated for many years, but it seems to be receiving much more attention this year in the midst of #MeToo, women’s marches, Time’s Up, and a general mobilization of female activism.

To celebrate this year, McDonald’s has flipped its arches for the first time in history and will be featuring upside-down arches (to form a W instead of an M) on all of its digital platforms. While it is sure to garner media attention, it seems a bit off-brand to me. McDonald’s isn’t a particularly female-oriented business and it seems a stretch to make such a statement about one segment of the population.

Mattel, on the other hand, tied into International Women’s Day to launch a new line of diverse Barbie dolls representing 11 countries. This is far more aligned with the holiday and their customer base and, in my opinion, was a fitting release date.

Other businesses are just trying to capitalize on the momentum around the day and the women’s movement by offering an array of “women-themed” products. This, too, seems to be commercially motivated rather than genuinely relevant to the event.

There are literally holidays for every day of the year and a plethora of causes that could link to your marketing efforts. Think carefully before you jump on the “brand-wagon” and alter your products or messaging because of them. Authenticity drives revenue in the long term.

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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