Leaders Create Sizzle

Did you ever own a Pet Rock?
Did you ever own a Pet Rock? (Flickr)

I will always remember the Christmas of 1975.

I didn't get a new bike or a car. My mother bought me a Pet Rock.

I was in the middle of the pursuit of a marketing degree and she somehow "caught me." She knew I would get the beauty, simplicity and sheer genius of the marketing of a rock.

Little did I know, I would become friends with the "inventor" of the rock, Gary Dahl.  Gary died last week at the age of 78.  He was always young in his thinking and creativity. He became an over-night millionaire with his Pet Rock.

The genius of the rock was the packaging and 20-page owner care manual. Gary's copywriting expertise was clearly demonstrated in his manual, "The Care and Training of your Pet Rock."

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Gary ran a successful advertising agency in the San Jose area and churned out brilliant words. I met him during my television days in San Jose/San Francisco. We spoke often.  I like sitting at the feet of geniuses. He taught me much about writing copy to cause people to feel. Isn't writing supposed to transfer a feeling?

In Gary's memory, I offer you a significant leadership idea. As you prepare the launch of a new project and create buy-in from your team, create brilliant packaging and copy for what you want your team to "see."   

Leaders create sizzle.

The Pet Rock was packaged in a quality corrugated box with breathing holes for the rock. The rock rested peacefully on a nest of straw. Anything less would have only been a rock (Gary bought Mexican beach stones for a penny each).

The sizzle in the launch of an idea opens the first layer of acceptance. Whimsy is appropriate. Find the fun. Create art. Write good "reason why" words. Buy-in must be marketed.  Exercise your creative muscle to pull your team into an idea rather than command them to get it.  Corporate cram-down rarely delivers winning launches.

Leaders who can't obtain buy-in for their ideas really don't get much done.

Create sizzle before sharing an idea with your team.

And when someone tells you, "you have rocks in your head," take it as high compliment.

Dr. Steve Greene is the publisher and executive vice president of the media group at Charisma Media and executive producer of the Charisma Podcast Network. His book, Love Leads: The Spiritual Connection Between Your Relationships and Productivity, is now available.

Leaders, Dr. Greene wants to help you understand the spiritual connection between relationships and productivity. Read his new blog, Love Leads.

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Dr. Steve Greene is now sharing stories, teachings, and conversations with guests who lead with love on Love Leads, a new podcast. Listen now.

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