If you were a kid growing up in the 1970s, you probably remember the toy "Stretch Armstrong". From 1976 to 1980 Stretch Armstrong was produced and sold throughout the United States. This latex rubber toy filled with gelled corn syrup was a hit. No matter how much I would stretch Armstrong he would always revert back to his original form. Okay I confess, Stretch would eventually change his shape when I would leave other toys, shoes, school books, and whatever else was tossed on top of him in the bottom of my toy bin. A couple of weeks of being smashed left him with a flat chest and several dents. He would even have some lint or some kind of fuzz stuck to him. He didn't look great after the abuse and abandonment. He deserved a better life, so eventually I would take him out and pound him back into shape. Turns out it was a great way to take out aggression. I should get one today to help me cope with stress.
I was reading how hard it was to find quality Stretch Armstrongs because they have to be stored correctly to maintain the latex rubber and gelled corn syrup. I guess dry and cool places are best. If only I had known, I would have taken better care of Stretch. Probably would be worth thousands of dollars now. Could have funded the kid's college if I had better latex rubber gelled corn syrup preservation skills. For those of you that are big Stretch Armstrong fans, I bet you can't wait for the movie to come out in April 2014.
As a leader, stretch is something that you should always keep in mind. Stretching yourself to become a better leader should be something you do each year. Ask yourself if the goals that you set are stretching your skills enough in becoming a better leader or are you letting the area of improving skills get tossed at the bottom of your personal or professional "toy bin" so that it’s smashed to the degree that the status of your leadership skills are out of shape?
The routine and mundane work day can get in the way of stretching our skills. We have to stay focused on the goals we set. We should write these down and put them where we can see them every day.
Set goals to build your skills as a leader. Want to be a better public speaker? Take a class to improve your skills. Start volunteering at your organization to present in front of people. Don't be afraid to admit to people that you are working on a skill. They will appreciate your honesty and be more likely to give you quality feedback.
Step out and stretch yourself to become better leader. You will make the Stretch Armstrongs of the world proud.
Check out the old vintage 1970's video on Stretch Armstrong! It will bring back memories!