Following my post on the movie Man On Wire, Josh asked: “How did he get such commitment and effort from his friends to assist him in this task, in fulfilling his dream? Even those who could not speak his language…”
What Josh is really asking about is the anatomy of enrollment – what is the process of engaging, enticing and enrolling others to join and support your vision, your endeavor to realize a dream? What do you do to attract and recruit people to join your cause?
Here are a series of thoughts about the process of enrollment – attracting and rallying others to join you. What we already know:
1. People don’t remember what you say, but they never forget what you made them feel.
2. People join something because of what it makes them feel about themselves, because of how it transforms their self-concept.
3. More than anything, people hope to join something greater, in which they may be able to lose themselves and to re-find themselves anew.
4. Many people wish to feel that their lives have a meaning beyond the immediate fulfillment of carnal needs. The innovator, the leader they join provides a vision and meaning which alleviates the fear of emptiness.
5. The charisma of an adventurous vision is in stepping into an unknown to break an impossible barrier. There is a spiritual dimension to this and the desire to escape temporariness, to touch eternity.
6. A bigger vision and endeavor provides for all involved a sense of being bigger themselves.
7. We tend to think in terms of number One’s and number Two’s (and Three’s and Four’s) – the founder, the inventor, the leader are the number One’s. Their assistants and helpers are the number Two’s. Well, nothing big in this world could have happened without number Two’s. We tend to focus on the One’s; this is where the story is told. But there is an over emphasis in this stance – a pedestal personality sensationalism.
8. Here is a thought experiment. Try to take the reversed view – try to shift from the person’s view to the task’s view – try to step into the view of the invention, not the inventor. The view of the achievement – the vision’s view. Imagine for a minute that the task has a “consciousness,” that the vision has its own “consciousness” – that it wants to be achieved and that it has the power to rally and enroll whomever it needs for it to be realized. For the task to succeed, for the vision to be fulfilled – it needs to enroll not just the central character – it needs support characters too. It cannot be accomplished without them.
9. History is mostly told through the eyes of number One’s – we assert that they are the authors of history. The truth is that the number Two’s (and Three’s and Four’s) of most big things held indispensible roles and made irreplaceable contributions. Great revolutions, the founding of nations, business achievements, scientific discoveries, innovation breakthroughs, artistic accomplishments and great triumphs in world explorations – would not have come to fruition without these close supporters. The Two’s feel a similar sense of mission and realization even though they are not acting in the number One role.
10. John Lennon and Paul McCartney needed George Harrison and Ringo Starr to make the Beatles. Michel Jordan needed Scottie Pippen. Lance Armstrong needed his team. Barack Obama needed the rivalry of Hillary Clinton to make him a better candidate. He now needs a series of supporting characters to realize the potential of his Presidency.
11. What is the anatomy of enrollment? We have just witnessed one of the greatest popular rallying and enrollments in modern history. Obama is the 44th president of the US because he successfully caused this rally.
12. There is an invisible energetic component to the act of enrollment. Attraction and rally is fueled by magnetism. The power of contagion that emanates from the can-do confidence of a leader.
13. The same mechanics apply to good causes and to some of the worst things that have happened in history.
14. A leader who is able to rally support and enroll others to a cause brings together many things. Conviction. Creativity. Organizational power. Long view. Determination. Where others see stars, they see a constellation. More than anything they mount a concentration of focus and confidence in their envisioned outcome. A concentration which creates an irresistible field of power. The field gets ratified and magnified by enrollees who join the cause.
Finally, we are each here for a variety of lessons and roles. We did not all come here to do the same thing, act in the same capacity or share in the same destiny. There are different functions and roles wherein all can play a part inside greater whole.
© Aviv Shahar