These words are the essence of a culture.

I was inspired by a short video by Seth Godin. He pointed out the uniqueness of political advertising because a politician must win the majority of voters to be elected. All this cortisol creating advertising that drives us crazy is based on a 1961 discovery that the best way to win an election is to get your opponent’s supporters to not vote. Set up an atmosphere of doubt/shame so people won’t vote for their own candidate.

These cortisol laden emotional environments often spill over to the business environment as Simon Sinek so capably illustrates in his book, “Leaders Eat Last.”

Leaders need followers. Leaders need followers who are confident, passionate and committed. It is not something you can get by your appointment to a job, it is something you earn. Think of it as running for corporate political office where you want your followers to be a tribe. And, you must do this without a high marketing budget. So, what might be a creative approach?

Seth Godin outlines a three-step strategy that he attributes to Marshall Ganz of Harvard:

  1. The Story of Self – Testify why are you here
  2. The Story of Us – Why my story is our story
  3. The Story of Now – Why today vs. the future

When I think back, I have worked with and supported many great leaders who had their version of this strategy. Literally, years later, their tribe has reunions to relive the good times when they went to the wall with that executive/leader to achieve something bigger than themselves. You can hear the words of Simon Sinek here as well when he says you want to attract people who believe what you believe. These are the messages you need to communicate.

Take 4 minutes to see if you get the Jolt I did.

If you can’t articulate your culture, if you can’t describe what it is really like, what work means and why the heck you show up every day, then you might want to rethink what you are doing. The idea of “People like us do things like this”, is that you can call your group a team, family, colleagues, or coworkers, but if there aren’t a clear set of beliefs that define how and why you do what you do, then you’re probably not as effective as you could be.