Bernie Anderson
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the blog

Current musings, whatever they may be. 

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.