Our town has two primary banks that have been in the community for decades. One was recently sold to another company, headquartered about two hours away. I don’t think the ink was dry on the purchase agreement before the remaining bank had banners and signs at all of its locations proclaiming: “BANK LOCAL.”

Previously, local had not been an advantage since the bank that was sold had been family-owned and operating here since 1911, but kudos to the marketing person who immediately recognized that “local” had suddenly become a distinction and jumped all over it.

When is the last time that your organization assessed what its advantages and unique selling points were? The competition changes all the time – adding products and services that now overlap with yours, or, as in this case, deleting a characteristic that formerly was on par with what you offered. An updated benefit review may lead you to rethink your messaging in order to highlight the differences that make your organization special.

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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