Why are you not upsetting more people?

This is a great TED talk by Seth Godin, who argues the Internet has ended mass marketing and revived a human social unit from the distant past: tribes. Founded on shared ideas and values, tribes give ordinary people the power to lead and make big change. He urges us to do so. It’s all about ‘upsetting’ people.

Seth defines why we need to talk to Tribes. More interestingly, he points out that if you try and talk to everybody, all you do is produce bland communications. To get noticed better these days, you first need to grab people’s attention. You need to ‘upset’ people. Because if you’re not upsetting anyone, you’re not changing the status quo. What do you think? Disrupt or conform?

“So three questions I’d offer you.

The first one is, who exactly are you upsetting? Because if you’re not upsetting anyone, you’re not changing the status quo.

The second question is, who are you connecting? Because for a lot of people, that’s what they’re in it for: the connections that are being made, one to the other.

And the third one is, who are you leading? Because focusing on that part of it — not the mechanics of what you’re building, but the who, and the leading part — is where change comes.

You don’t need permission from people to lead them. But in case you do, here it is: they’re waiting, we’re waiting for you to show us where to go next. So here is what leaders have in common.

The first thing is, they challenge the status quo. They challenge what’s currently there. The second thing is, they build a culture. A secret language, a seven-second handshake, a way of knowing that you’re in or out. They have curiosity. Curiosity about people in the tribe, curiosity about outsiders. They’re asking questions. They connect people to one another. Do you know what people want more than anything? They want to be missed. They want to be missed the day they don’t show up. They want to be missed when they’re gone.And tribe leaders can do that. It’s fascinating, because all tribe leaders have charisma, but you don’t need charisma to become a leader. Being a leader gives you charisma. If you look and study the leaders who have succeeded, that’s where charisma comes from — from the leading. Finally, they commit. They commit to the cause. They commit to the tribe. They commit to the people who are there.”

Most interestingly I wonder if this thinking is something that, perhaps unknowingly, Corbyn and his followers are living by. First focusing on the Corbynista tribe, hoping that their ideas will eventually spread, persuading other tribes to follow.

Cover photo credit goes to a wonderful photographer and a project we love: Before They Pass Away

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I do design and copy for people and great causes.