At first glance, breakfast foods and holiday sweaters have nothing to do with each other but the folks at Kellogg’s thought differently. They marketed a special version of Pop-Tarts with silly sweater designs that could serve as novel stocking stuffers, package embellishments, or morning pastries and the “limited edition” sugar cookie flavor earned it a prominent display in the store.

Saying something is the holiday version of a product is often enough to make the ordinary special enough to spur purchasing. Look around at all the holiday soaps, paper plates, dog treats, air fresheners, cereals, cakes and just about every item imaginable that features a Christmas version of the same product. It happens in the fall with pumpkin spice flavors for everything as well as for Valentine’s Day, Easter and just about every opportunity manufacturers can find to make something appear new.

It doesn’t take much to make an ordinary product seem festive. Look at what you offer in a new light and with a broad imagination. If Pop-Tarts can feature ugly sweaters, maybe your offerings can add a bit of holiday fun and reach a wider audience as a result.

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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