When I was a young boy roaming the countryside of Calvary, Georgia, I can remember two highly anticipated annual events that to this day, when I think about them, make me smile. One was the annual broadcast of the Wizard of Oz and the other one was the Easter arrival of the yellow marshmallow Peeps – the original ones that look like baby chicks.
Today, the thought of waiting 364 days to watch the Wizard of Oz is almost inconceivable, and thanks to the marketing minds at the Peeps Company, the once only available once a year marshmallow treats are now available year round, for every occasion and in almost every shape and color.
In celebration of the week before Easter – the original season of the Peeps, I wanted to share some thoughts and extend some Power to the Peep-le.
In trying to determine why the little yellow marshmallow Peeps were such an important part of my youth, and I must admit a part of my adulthood as well, I began to think about the characteristics and qualities that make up a Peep. What was their source of power over me?
As I was writing down the qualities of a good Peep, I ran across a post written by Skip Prichar, comparing the traits and qualities of a good leader to, of all things – a marshmallow Peep. His leadership/Peepness insights hit the nail on the head for me. The qualities for a good leader and those of a Peep are the same, and here they are.
Good leaders and Peeps both . . .
1. Stand the test of time.
Peeps were already in production when candy manufacturer Just Born purchased them from the Rodda Candy Company in 1953. In the decades since, Peeps have continued to be popular.
Leaders do not follow fads. Good leadership is enduring.
2. Have a following.
5.5 million Peeps are made every day. In one year, the company makes enough Peeps to circle the earth twice! Peeps have fans all over the globe.
Leaders have followers. That’s why we call them leaders! Leaders learn to produce day in and day out, constantly delivering results.
3. Improve with time.
Originally, Peeps were manufactured by hand when someone squeezed the mixture. What once took almost 27 hours now takes less than six minutes.
Leaders consistently look for ways to improve. Leaders strive for efficiency and excellence.
4. Are resilient.
Peeps are so resilient that two Emory researchers studied them, subjecting them to various experiments including water, sulfuric acid and sodium hydroxide. Peeps are almost indestructible.
Leaders are resilient. They realize that failure is only a stepping-stone to success. Leaders use failure as a fuel to propel future success.
5. Follow success principles.
Peeps use the same basic recipe of sugar, corn syrup, gelatin and vanilla extract year after year.
Leaders follow enduring and unchanging principles.
6. Are innovative.
Peeps are now available in various colors, shapes, and even dipped in chocolate.
Leaders strive to continually innovate the world around them, looking for new opportunities to appeal to a new audience.
7. Are humble.
Peeps are not the best-selling candy manufactured by Just Born. Sales of another beloved confection, Mike and Ike’s, outsell the Peep.
Leaders do not define success by the competition. Leaders are not intimidated by another’s success. Leaders strive to be the best they can be.
So, there you go – even more Power to the Peep-le.
Pop one, or three, in your mouth this Easter season with the realization that the sugar rush isn’t the only reason you love them.
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