I handled the logistics for a recent event, and at the end of the day, the organizer asked the participants if there was anything else they needed for the next day’s gathering. “I’d love some Mountain Dew!” one attendee said – a nod to the early hour at which her travel began.

So, of course, the next day there was Mountain Dew. No big deal.

Only it was. The presence of the beverage was reflected in the event evaluation – but not by the participant who requested it. Another attendee wrote: “I noticed the Mountain Dew,” read the evaluation. “You kept your promises.”

It reminded me of my time on campus when we conducted a student opinion survey. Among the multitude of suggestions, one was to put a pencil sharpener in the main classroom building. We did so almost immediately. The presence of that $10 item garnered us more goodwill than some of the more expensive solutions because it happened right away and showed that we really were listening.

Responsive actions may seem little to you, but they are anything but in the lives of others.



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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