Tee-Shirts, Hopes, and Dreams
People who wear band tee-shirts (or clothing with sports team emblems on them) announce to the world - I am of this tribe. This band (this team) and those who also care about this band (this team) - these are my people.
I wore one yesterday (I saw one of the final Anberlin shows with my son back in 2014).
Band tee-shirts and football jerseys make it easy to find your people. A tribe with a common passion. A common aspiration. We all love the same things. We do the same things. This is my tribe. These are my people. That’s the job of a marketer.
Leadership is similar but different. Leaders need to find people who share aspirations at a deeper level. But shared aspirations at that level can be tricky to discover. Aspirations are about hopes and dreams, and that requires a deep dive into people’s lives.
And sometimes (even more difficult) leadership needs to find shared aspirations in a group of random and diverse people.
It’s pretty simple to buy everyone the same tee-shirt.
It’s a lot harder to find out what people are really dreaming about.
Why do they work here?
What is their hope for the future?
How this organization serves their long-term interests?
What are we doing together that’s actually making a difference?
This means listening more than assuming.