Savoring your M&Ms : Magical Metaphors

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea on how to relabel  projects and products to enable greater productivity

           Xavier Roberts, the father of the Cabbage Patch Kids, labeled himself a “life sculptor” and captured the imaginations of millions doll collectors around the world.

Cabbage Patch Kids from a Life Sculptor

Life Sculptor Xavier Roberts and his Cabbage Patch Kids

        Labeling is enabling.  

         Are you an Employee or a Member.  Does your company have a Training Department or a Talent Development Department? Do you work in retail Store or on a retail Stage? Do you serve Customers or Guests. Labels make a difference in your deference.

      The more creatively I can label a project, a goal, or even a role the greater value I perceive,  the more profound sense of mission I bring to the job and  the more productive I am. Or the more perceived value I offer, like the road sign, I recently saw: We buy trash and sell treasures.

      Labeling is enabling.  For me it is particularly instructive to review the leadership of product marketers who leverage the value and motivate purchasing decisions with careful labeling. Think of Cheer, Joy, Pledge or Promise —emotions you are supposed to feel as you wash your clothes, clean the dishes or dust the furniture. Labeling can be enabling.

                    Labeling is enabling. Savor these  M&Ms –these magical metaphors– in the form of creative labels that might  stir your own thinking on your labeling enabling:

  1. Are you an executive or are you really a Wall Eliminator?
  2. Do you attend meetings in a conference room or in a Strategy Room?
  3. Did Americans plant food during World War II or did they plant Victory Gardens
  4. Are you an insurance agent or a financial adviser?
  5. Are you a cosmetic sales person or a beauty consultant?

  Do you Take Photographs or Make Memories?

  1. Do you take photographs or make memories?
  2. Do you collect toy soldiers or military miniatures?
  3. Do you have a brain or an enchanted loom?
  4. Do you commute to work or attend a university on wheels while listening to your audio tapes on the road?
  5. Do you buy a hat or purchase an attitude at Hattitudes, a hat and T-shirt store at Cedar Point Amusement Park in Sandusky, OH?

  Do you Purchase Window Accessories or Jewelry for the Window?

  1. Do you lift weights or do you hit the bars every day after work as the sign at the Health Club encourages
  2. Do you throw gum in a trash can or deposit it into a gum bank as the sign at the roller skating rink encourages?
  3. Do you purchase window accessories —curtain rods, rings, tie-backs and swag holders or do you purchase “jewelry” for your windows?
  4.  Do you have a cocoon like office or a cramped office ?
  5. Do you see a log burning in the fireplace or “sunlight unwinding from the log,” as inventor, architect and poet Buckminster Fuller once noted in explaining to a little girl why a fire was so hot?

           I like to think of Labeling as a mental flossing that reaches deep into the crevices beneath and between the obvious exteriors, a mental flossing that gives a new taste to old thoughts, a mental flossing that helps you to take a more incisive bite into a new idea so that you can chew on it better than ever before. See separate post on how to use metaphors in a speech.

 Today’s ImproveMINT
Label projects, programs and people more creatively to keep your leadership thinking in mint condition.

You might also like these previous Leadership Mints on Personal Communications:

Flash Your Lt. Columbo Badge of Confusion

Listening is Really a Life and Death Issue

Stories Breathe Life Into the Bottom Line

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