I make it a point if at all possible, to never to pass a kid’s lemonade stand without stopping to buy. Why? Because these kids have are trying to provide something of value with their time and talent. They find a good street corner on a hot day, make a product that’s refreshing, offer it with a huge anticipatory smile, and that’s worth paying for. Hopefully a positive lemonade stand experience for these rookie entrepreneurs translates into more as they grow into adulthood. (Btw… I don’t always drink the lemonade…)
This reminds me that every day you and I pass “lemonade stands” at work. Obviously they are not lemonade stands but what would happen if:
- We always stopped to say good morning to the first person we met coming in the door, asked sincerely as to how they were, and listened to their response?
- Carefully watched and held the door or elevator open for people coming in behind us?
- Said good morning to people as we came in to our work area and broadly smiled as we did so?
- Wrote a hand written (not email) thank you or recognition note to someone who helped us or someone we observed doing something great? We could easily do this while we waited for our computer to boot up… i.e. before our email overtook us!
- Made a point of identifying on our daily agenda someone we were going to help or coach that day?
- Concluded each day thanking someone?
People tell me the pressure of applying the Character Triangle with consistency can be daunting. Of course as human beings we can and will stray from the principles from time to time. I am more interested in promoting the relentless journey of purposefully practicing the principles than expecting personal perfection from myself or others. However, the one thing I know for sure is that the small stuff ends up being the big stuff.
The above behavioral examples at one level are trivial. They will not on their own make or break a business model. However if we make a point of attending to the small stuff, the bigger things have a better foundation for connecting with the same principles.
- Don’t pass literal or metaphorical lemonade stands without “buying”!
- Set the stage each day at work, as we travel between the front door and our office/cube/station.
- Be present, smile, say thank you, and acknowledge in our first 30 minutes and the “table will be set” for the rest of the day.
- Wrap every day with a genuine thank you.
- Do it all over again until it becomes a positive habit.
No Lemons in the Triangle,