Tony Soprano and Connecting the Dots


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In an attempt to fill the gaps in my pop culture knowledge, I recently watched the last season of the acclaimed series, The Sopranos. My favorite scene? Sitting in his psychiatrist’s office reflecting on his close brush with death, his wonder at being alive, and his unrelenting problems, Tony Soprano confesses: “I realize now that each day is a gift … just, does it always have to be a pair of socks?”

We all have days when we feel like Tony—a customer’s legitimate complaint, a technical failure, an untrained employee passing along bad information, an error that you catch only as your presentation hits the giant screen in front of hundreds. Another pair of socks? Perhaps. But it’s also an opportunity to begin to connect the dots and better understand the problem.

Is it an isolated issue or part of a larger pattern? (As my first manager was fond of saying, “How many cars have to go by before it’s a train?”) And so the digging begins. What’s the cause? The frequency? The source? The effects? What happens if we don’t fix this problem? Who do I need to involve in analyzing it? If this were resolved or improved, how could it change the business? Where’s the opportunity?

Let the brainstorming begin. What starts off as a trigger for high blood pressure can turn into an “aha” moment. It doesn’t always have to be socks.

Rhonda Sunnarborg, Senior Consultant
E.G. Insight

Rhonda Sunnarborg
Rhonda works with companies to improve the effectiveness of their business channels by addressing key questions: How do you get distributors or dealers to support your full line? How do you get more mindshare of dealer salespeople? Do you need to figure out who your end-customers are? Rhonda has more than 20 years of B2B experience working with Fortune 500 companies to change the behavior of dealers/distributors, sales people, and employees. She is a member of the Business Marketing Association and has served on the national board for Recognition Professionals International.


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