If you want an example of knowing your audience, Dairy Queen’s Pup Cup may be it. The local establishment sells ice cream, of course, to owners of dogs who want to provide a treat for their canine “kids.” But to make the item special the DQ includes a Milk Bone on top.

That bone is not there for the dog; it’s there for the human. It’s not as if the dog is asking for either the dessert or the treat, but by catering to the pet parents Dairy Queen can generate additional business for itself from those who want to spoil their companions.

Think about who your true influencer is. The dog may be the end user, but the human is the one handing over the cash. Whose tail should you try to make wag?

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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