Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Papelbon Dance Risk Builds Recognizable Brand

First, congratulations to the Boston Red Sox. We could get used to this.

If you haven't seen Jonathan Papelbon's dance moves you should take a look. He is remarkable for his passion more than his skill. I'm impressed by the fearlessness he showed the first time he strutted his stuff in front of all those people. He risked looking like a fool, but the reward was a signature that makes him a recognizable star of the team.

Now, everyone loves Papelbon.

It will often be the case for you as a leader that you have to risk looking like a fool to stand out from the crowd. For most of us, the risk is actually quite small. Some folks have difficulty simply asking a question in a meeting. To take the lead and build your own brand, you need to show your own fearlessness and take your own risks. When it feels too risky, compare your fears against dancing a jig on national television.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Thinking Outside the Box - Moose and Squirrel License Plate

I saw a great license plate the other day that reminded me of the value of creativity and thinking outside the box. It was the New Hampshire plate "&SQRRL." That wasn't so interesting until I noticed that the plate was a special New Hampshire Conservation License Plate depicting a moose on its left edge.

Vanity plates for this program are limited to a mere six characters and symbols. That doesn't feel like a lot of room for creativity. Some out of the box thinking expanded the possibilities. Think about where you should expand your thinking to find solutions outside of the rules you think you are working under. How can you break free from your six-character-limits?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Kudos to Mitre

I attended the Boston SPIN meeting earlier this week, which is held on the Mitre campus. Mitre donates a large meeting room for this monthly meeting and supports it with security and facilities staff. Mitre is a secure facility and needs to take extra care to register guests and monitor where they go. I saw nothing but smiles and a helpful attitude from both the security and facilities staff.

It would have been easier by far for Mitre not to sponsor these meetings. Instead they are enthusiastic and happy to support them. This shows me a leadership culture of supporting their community in a way that feels sincere. By the way, as we left the meeting we enjoyed music from a small wind ensemble that was practicing in the great acoustics of Mitre's lobby area.