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Let’s get your Tuesday morning started with a quiz: What do more than two thirds of the women in Congress and 80% of America’s women entrepreneurs have in common?
Girl Scout cookies. Yes…many of America’s most influential women got their start as leaders as members of the Girl Scouts. Surprised?
I love Girl Scout cookies because there is something in the formula that really works. To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scouts, my firm purchased 100 boxes of Thin Mints to share with our clients, advisers and business partners. Here’s why:
We believe leaders are people who go out of their way to make things better for more people: both personally and professionally. Can you think of any organization that deserves our praise and congratulations more than the Girl Scouts? Personally, I’m grateful I met our colleague Delane through a Girl Scout connection. (She’s the leader behind the scenes who makes our business click). Both of my sisters, my wife and my two daughters were engaged with the Girl Scouts. And the probability is very high the same is true for the women around you.
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Just as Congress and women business owners profess…the magic ingredient weaves its way into my work as a leadership coach. In group sessions, we often create discussions to help people recall the earliest moments when they were compelled into leadership. The most consistently quoted moments are women who mention selling Girl Scout cookies. The power of the Cookie Sisterhood separates the room: the men argue frivolously about which cookies taste the best (Thin Mints always win.) The women launch into a powerful discussion about how the annual cookie sale taught them how to lead. Here are the magic ingredients:
- They learned the courage to sell – good leaders are always selling a vision.
- They learned to set goals – the troop literally depends on each girl hitting a quota for their financial survival. When the girl exceeds her quota, she receives rewards that pay dividends forever.
- They learned to work together – the girls with complementary strengths who work together have more fun, learn more and sell more cookies.
- They learned about the greater Good – most people embrace buying Girl Scout cookies as investing in the future of the free world…one girl, one box of cookies, one troop at a time.
Last week, when I personally delivered a box of Thin Mints to a good leader in Austin, Texas, he said: “I never eat these things…but I buy them all the time. I really enjoy buying a couple of boxes, then giving them back to the troop so they can sell them again. I never, ever turn down the chance to buy a box of Girl Scout cookies.”
So, if you haven’t received that familiar knock at the door…seek out your local Girl Scout tro0p and keep investing. The reason you can’t buy Girl Scout Cookies over the internet is because the world needs you to look a future Congresswoman in the eye when you order your Thin Mints.
Good leaders go out of their way to invest in people.
Send me a note: what do you think is the magic ingredient in those cookies?[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]