Cadbury Schweppes opened a new office in Dallas, Texas to house the post-demerger confectionery team.
The Cadbury Board decided to tour the site on its opening day. The Chairman, Chief Executive, and the rest of Board members were scheduled for a 30 minute tour that I was to give. I got a haircut for the event and wore my best, dark blue suit.
Just before the opening ceremony started I saw the Cadbury bunny mascot walk into the room. I spontaneously said, “Hi bunny, thanks for coming,” and gave it a big hug.
What I didn’t realize is the bunny suit was made out of fluffy material that shed, especially on dark cloth. As the Chairman was giving a speech I looked down at my suit and saw white puff balls covering my entire suit.
I was filled with dread knowing I would be escorting the entire Board around the office looking like a used lint brush. In a panic I started nonchalantly picking felt off of my suit. By the time I got my queue to start the tour most of the big ones were gone. You must look confident throughout a big change project, especially things go wrong and people know it.
Mental note: Don’t hug the bunny.