Leadership and Branding Lessons From The Cub Scouts

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What can you learn watching Cub Scouts sell popcorn?  Marty Brej, my friend and former boss at Thomson Reuters, recently helped his son sell pop corn for his scout troop.  As he explained it to me over dinner:

  • Actively Engage: Briefly & confidently explain to passers-by who you are and what you are doing
  • Wear The Uniform: Be official…YOU are really the product people are buying!
  • Exemplary Behavior: Behave in a way that show respect for the uniform
  • Always Say “Thanks”:  Especially when someone declines to buy; you never know who will come back
  • Market Your Best: Display your best selling products prominently and effectively
  • Up-sell: …but have a fallback plan if people can’t afford it
  • “The Cub Scout Gives Good Will”: Support what others ask of you as you are asking them to support you

It struck me that these are all essential lessons in business and leadership.  These are also key concepts in networking, self-marketing and building your professional brand.  I thought about breaking each out of these down further, but I think the message is pretty straight forward: be genuine and exemplary in your conduct, providing value for value.  Also, buy some popcorn.

© 2014, Mark E. Calabrese

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