Cherry Coke

Giving a gift can open doors; it gives access to important people! -Proverbs 18:16

Linda Kaplan Thaler, the woman responsible for creating the Afflac Duck marketing campaign, told John Maxwell a story that I had to share with you. She said that she had the opportunity to interview Warren Buffet.

She did some research on him and found out he loved Cherry Coke. As she walked into his office to interview him, she brought a can of cherry coke and a glass filled with ice and a straw. She opened the can of cherry coke, poured it into the glass, handed it to him, and said, “Mr. Buffet, I know you love cherry coke, so I thought we’d start off with something you like.”

Warren responded, “Young lady, in all my years of doing interviews, nobody has ever brought me a cherry coke. You can take as much time as you’d like.” An hour and a half later, she concluded her interview.

I love that story! That has inspired me to follow in her footsteps when I meet with people. I make it a point to meet with at least one leader a month to interview them on the subject of leadership. As a result of Linda’s story, I now do research on the people I am interviewing and find out what they like. If it’s Starbucks, I’ll get them a gift card or a pound of coffee. If it’s a restaurant they love, I bring them a gift card to that restaurant.

This practice isn’t something you should only do when you’re meeting with people you admire. This is a practice you should do with everyone you meet with.

  • When you’re meeting with a mentee, what do they love that you could bless them with?
  • If you’re going on a double date with a couple, how could you bless them?
  • How could you bless the members of your leadership team?

Remember, it doesn’t have to be an expensive gift, it’s the thought and effort put into the gift that makes the difference.

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Servant Leadership


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