Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Read My Pin

This week on NPR, there was a fascinating interview with Madeleine Albright about her new book and the museum exhibit that accompanies it. The book is "Read My Pins" and talks about how she used lapel broaches to portray her mood, or a subliminal message when conducting her all important functions as Secretary of State.

I was immediately charmed by her stories -- how Sadaam Hussein called her an "unparalleled serpent" when she pressed him on his refusal to coƶperate with weapons she wore a gold serpent pin to their next meeting. Apparently he and his staff got the message and a tradition was born.

"I found that jewelry had become part of my personal diplomatic arsenal," Secretary Albright has said. "While President George H.W. Bush had been known for saying 'Read my lips,' I began urging colleagues and reporters to 'Read my pins.'"

Today, I was headed to a meeting with the MERGER integration managers...folks we believe have our collective career destinies in their hands, and we can't quite get a beat on them. In fact, many times we find ourselves in adversarial positions with them when we want to push forward a communication or initiative, and they want to take a more...well...deliberate pace.(more like a pocket veto)

Taking a cue from Madeleine...I dug out a costume jewelry broach I had that would suit my mood and project the right subliminal messages. It kind of looks like an olive branch (actually , it looks like milk weed...but it is "in the style of" an olive branch). I was projecting peace and team spirit all day.

I wonder what Madeleine would say though, when at the end of the day I looked down and my little costume jewelry broach was bent nearly in half.

Read my pin.


DUTA said...

Nice story and gives one ideas. By the way, snake in jewelry is considered symbol of luck.

Mama Lou said...

I saw this interview on TV on Sunday morning show. The collection they showed was very beautiful and interesting. I,too, loved her stories of the different occasions when she wore certain ones.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

That's a fascinating idea.