I grew up in a small town, with small town entertainment. The end of year trip each school year involved a trip to Sherman’s Amusement Park. Sherman (his last name) was a local entrepreneur long before that word became popular. There were rides and animals (a pet monkey that everyone fed. How he survived I’ll never understand) and all kinds of food like cotton candy, hot dogs, soft ice cream and roasted peanuts.
In my 7th grade year, it was a huge trip. Junior high meant that you didn’t just go with your elementary school class. You went with kids from all the elementary schools in the town (all four elementary schools in this case).
The best part of the day – adolescent hormones being what they are – was the carousel ride. That’s a picture of it at the top of the page. The ride minder would load a chute full of rings, only a few of which were brass. Lean out to grab the ring and you got a free ride if the ring was brass. If you got a brass one you could give it to one of the cute girls.
I was always amazed that one boy in particular was so successful at getting the brass ring. I’ll call him “Slug” – that’s what everyone called him. To call him by his given name meant you would get slugged – hence his nickname. Calling him Carlton was a quick ticket to a sore shoulder. He always wore a leather jacket and engineer boots. He was not a handsome guy, but on the day of the class trip he was really popular because he got so many brass rings.
I worked up my courage and asked him how he did it. He had a strategy. He watched the ride minder loading the chute with rings, so he knew when the brass ring would appear. And he lined up his effort with his awareness and grabbed the brass ring more often than anyone. And gave them to more girls than anyone. all because he had a strategy.
So when I started helping people develop strategy, what came to mind was that class trip. Everyone wants to know how to grab their own brass ring. I can help.