Effective leaders innovate from personal experiences that hold special memories for them.
It’s the hustle and bustle of Thanksgiving. Many people are travelling to be with family and friends, while others make preparations for hosting dinners – in homes, in banquet halls and homeless shelters. So, imagine that the meal has been served and everyone’s tastebuds hold the enticing tastes of perfectly baked turkey with cranberry sauce, loads of stuffing, candied yams and crunchy salads with their favourite dressing ranging from Vidallia Onion and Thousand Island to Balsamic Vinegar and Rasberry. After eating everyone is enjoy moments being together, making music and cherishing family and friends. And, just when you think you cannot take another bite, dessert is served! What’s on the table? Pies! Pies! And, more pies! Among the most covetted at this time are the warm apples pies, pecan pies, pumpkin pies and sweet potato pies.
But, imagine taking a holiday experience into everyday delectable bites at Walmart where there are everyday low prices. That’s the sensation that was created by Patti LaBelle’s Sweet Potato Pies which were selling at the rate of one pie every second at Walmart stores during the Thanksgiving season of 2015 (Hirsch, 2015; https://www.dailypress.com/entertainment/dp-walmart-scrambles-to-restock-patti-labelles-sweet-potato-pies-20151118-story.html).
Within 24 hours after James Wright posted the video of himself eating the now famous pie, Wal-Mart stock ran down to dangerously low levels. To supply the demand, Kerry Robinson, vice president for bakery and deli at Wal-Mart, said that they put everything into the stores, including the Christmas stock. Sales from the prior year had made Wal-Mart double their order from the previous year to supply the growing demand. However, it was not enough and so they were wiped out before Thanksgiving (Hirsch, 2015).
And, people kept talking about the scrumptious goodness and bought Patti LaBelle’s sweet potato pies.
And, the wonder of the joy of the season allows friends to gather in delight as Steve Harvey had to join the conversation and share the experience.
But, what happens when people cannot get what they have grown to love? That’s where innovative leadership takes over to give people what they want. Which sometimes means sharing the ingredients and the process. So, in 2018, Ms. Patti shared the recipe of the famous pie that she had adapted from a recipe she had cooked up with her best friend and hairstylist, Norma Gordon Harris (LaBelle, 2018; https://www.today.com/recipes/make-patti-labelles-sweet-potato-pie-recipe-home-t56966). Served with a dollop of whipped cream, it’s scrumptious to the very last bite!
So, in the spirit of the season, here’s a little more sharing from my store with Be Prepared and more at http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/KeishaAMitchellPhD .