While I was in Times Square, I couldn’t help but notice a large group of high school students from Brazil. I have been a chaperone for trips involving college students and was paralyzed thinking through the liability and logistics of being responsible for a few hundred teenagers in New York!

I talked to some of the participants and learned that they were in New York City for five days then five more days in Orlando. It struck me as to what a distorted picture of our country that they were receiving: America the Beautiful isn’t exactly reflected in Disney World and Times Square.

I am sure the trip organizers did the delicate dance of deciding between what the students wanted to see and what they should see; what is sexy vs. what is educational or what is a man-made iconic venue vs what is a natural wonder.

Think through the exercise of where you would take 200 Brazilian teenagers for ten days of experiencing America. Tough task, isn’t it? Yet as a supervisor, you partake in a similar slicing when you share an overview of your organization in a new employee’s onboarding. There is only so much you can help them experience in a snapshot; the rest has to come over time. Even if you can’t visit the Grand Canyon or the Rocky Mountains, make sure they know they exist.

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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