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How to Use Toy Stories to Connect

My fondest childhood memories include toys.

I had a boy-doll named Rocky. Later I had a James Bond 007 spy attaché case with secret compartments and a gun that could be assembled into a pistol or a rifle. Both versions had a scope.

First memory:

The original Morrison farm, situated on a dirt road in Bradford, Maine, burned to the ground before I was in first grade. (Mom was a Morrison.) The only memory I have of the farm includes a toy.

I remember playing with my fire engine in the sloped hallway between the kitchen and the front room. I was probably two or three. The slope was useful.

Later memories:

I had a Lost in Space set with a battery powered chariot that ran on a course I configured with my imagination. I wanted to be Will Robinson (Bill Mumy).

I turned thirteen the year Neil Armstrong walked on the moon (July 21, 1969). I still remember the grainy pictures and hearing Commander Armstrong say, “One small step…,” punctuated with beeps. I built models of the Apollo space craft and the lunar lander. Before Apollo, I built the Mercury and Gemini spacecraft.

Sometime in my early teens I used my Chemistry set to create an explosion that shook our house. There were no injuries or fatalities, just fear that I was going to ‘get it’. I didn’t.

I’ll never forget my raspberry red five speed Western Auto Buzz Bike with a banana seat, high-rise handlebars, and gear shift. (This image is the right model, but the wrong color.) I bought it with my own money at Western Auto.

4 questions to connect using toy stories:

  1. What was your favorite toy when you were a kid?
  2. What was it about that toy that you enjoyed so much?
  3. What did that toy enable you to do?
  4. Who did that toy allow you to become?

Skillful leaders connect with people.

What was your favorite toy when you were a kid?

How do leaders connect?

Note: My childish exuberance allowed me to exceed 300 words. I apologize.

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