Leaders have stories. They have a beginning, a middle and typically, they are living the end. Or what we see of it. And there’s a reason these stories are shared by the rest of us. Humans are emotional by nature and we thrive and connect on an emotional level. Following a story is much more meaningful than following a product.
The Case of Apple
Apple has been the epitome of a company who’s created a tribe and a story. Now, I know there’s plenty of you who can’t stand Apple for whatever reason, but just level with me on this and look at it for what it is. Pretend they’re Chick-fil-a or someone you actually like.
They are top of mind for most people with how well they have executed and built a following.
And it’s no wonder. Not only have they established that you’re Mac or PC, they’ve instilled in us how well they fit in our lives. Their commercials show joggers with their iPod or kids playing games on the iPad. They show stories of our lives. And we connect with that.
I bet you wish you had people lining up for your product or service for days before you release it.
The Case of Dave Ramsey
Let’s use, I don’t know…Dave Ramsey. Ever heard of him? He’s built a tribe, a culture, of people who absolutely despise debt to the end of the Earth and back. And it’s all built on a story.
The story of his financial death and resurrection and how we can do the same. He gives us step by step instructions on how to relive his journey without making all the same mistakes he has. His story becomes what we connect with. And we build in all these miniature stories within that culture to help us market it to friends and family by sharing our own.
Absolutely incredible is what it is.
Why Do We Actually Follow These Stories Though?
I’m sure there’s some psychology behind it but at the end of the day it has to do with connecting on an emotional level. I’ve said before that we are emotional by nature and that’s what any great leader needs to do in order to connect with us. We want something that we can relate to. Something we can be a part of. That’s exactly the point of Seth Godin’s tribes.
In the past, it wasn’t such an issue simply because there was less competition and less information available at the general public’s fingertips. Even family life was more simple and we rarely knew who was having what for dinner (thanks Instagram).
But not anymore. Now we have social media which allows messages to go out in an instant and that really changes things. We even have this blog that allows me to share what I think about stories. I could get into communication here, but that’s another post entirely.
How you actually get to be a leader
The core concept here is that in order to be a successful leader today, you need to tell your honest story that will allow us to connect with you. From your personal life to your work to your ministry, we all want to hear your story so we can feel that much more in touch with you. It’s part of the connection economy and part of the path to becoming a connection brand.
If you are struggling to connect with your customers or know what tools to use in the digital world, I can help. I work with businesses and churches to understand digital marketing and the direction they should go. And I can help you too.