7 ‘Musts’ to Turn a Mission into a Movement
Twenty years of building companies and products have taught me that if you want to promote your brand in massively impactful ways, you’ll need to turn your personal mission into a community movement. Think of it as the difference between a corporate statement and community action. I’ve also learned that you can’t create movements by yourself; however, with enough people rallied around a worthy idea, you can change just about anything. History has shown us that.
I was recently asked to do a few keynotes on this topic in Mexico and Italy, and also shared my thoughts about it in an article for a high-profile business magazine. Time and time again, my business partners and I have seen the amazing results that can come from building successful community movements around brand missions.
What we may have once thought to be impossible, suddenly became possible: like being featured on the cover of Success Magazine, launching a magazine that became #1 on the store shelves, attracting mainstream influencers and celebrities, being awarded several World Records, generating nearly $2 billion in cumulative revenue, and transforming more than 3 million lives, for example. It takes an aligned community to do all that— not a few individuals.
Simply put: Your personal mission can become the mission of others, and when that happens, a small group can transform into a movement that inspires change.
So, how exactly can you turn your mission into a mass movement?
Here’s ‘7 Musts’ for how to do just that:
#1 – Lead with a Mission: “It’s about something bigger.”
In his bestselling book, Start with Why, Simon Sinek found that understanding the WHY behind companies, products and/or services was the key factor for influencing behavior. We can talk ‘what’s’ and ‘how’s’ all day long, but the ‘why’ is the purpose or cause that ultimately drives what we do. Your mission is your ‘why.’ It’s about achieving something bigger than yourself or your company. Your mission needs to be clearly defined so that people easily know it, understand it, and once they believe in it, can easily share it.
#2 – Cast the Vision: “Here’s where we’re going; follow me.”
It takes a lot more than a good idea or a good team to create a movement. Visualize where your company will be in the next three to five years. How about 10 years from now? If you don’t ‘see’ it, how will you be able to reach it?! Remember: “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” Without vision, people don’t know where they’re going, what they’re working towards. You’ve got to unify around a common vision.
#3 – Create the Culture: “You belong here.”
Build the culture because that’s your tribe. I define culture as the shared language, beliefs and behaviors around your unified vision and mission. So, what kind of culture do you want to create? It’s important that your culture makes people feel they belong. Culture is what attracts, retains and, when done right, gets the best out of people. Good culture empowers and motivates; bad culture deflates and destroys. I’ve learned from both.
#4 – Play to Your Strengths: “Everyone has a role.”
Once you have a culture aligned on your vision and mission, you will need to play to individual strengths so that everybody’s got a role. I’ve always felt that if there are two of us in the room with the exact same talents and skills, one of us is not needed. The power is in the team. It’s about building diversity and leveraging unique gifts, talents and connections. It increases empowerment, and empowered people working together generate synergistic results.
#5 – Move in Unison: “All of us, all at once.”
Movements and momentum do not happen because of a single charismatic leader, profound message, or just one or two people doing a few extraordinary things. It’s about a lot of people doing a lot of simple or small things—all together and in sync. There’s power in unity; there’s power in saying ‘go’, but momentum happens when we do it all at the same time.
#6 – Share the Stories: “Show what’s possible.”
Stories can inspire. Seeing real people achieve real results builds belief in the mission and motivation to act. They powerfully show what’s possible, and fuel aspiration and inspiration. Thousands of people will gravitate to your mission’s narrative if you capture the stories and share them with others. With today’s social media, it’s easier than ever before to capture stories and turn them into content (videos, photos, posts, blogs)—with the ultimate purpose of getting people to share them anywhere and everywhere. Stories make your mission real, move your mission forward, and create the momentum.
#7 – Get Out of Your Own Way: “Allow momentum to create more momentum.”
The most important rule of momentum: Once you’ve got it, keep it! Find creative ways to add fuel. It will be tempting to take your foot off the gas pedal when you see momentum, but whenever you feel you’re slowing down, get as many people as possible to step on the gas even more, and then get out of your own way. Accelerate and amplify until that momentum takes on a life of its own.
Remember that people follow passion; they want to feel inspired and be a part of something that impacts others in some positive way. So, light up your mission and fuel it with creative community movements—and then watch the impact you can make.
About the Author: Blake Mallen is a Lifestyle Entrepreneur, Investor, Millennial Influencer, and the Co-Founder & President of two global lifestyle brands. Blake has been featured in industry publications as well as speaks at national conferences, TEDx Talk forums, and international events on the topics of social marketing, brand building, organizational culture, entrepreneurship, leadership and personal growth. Connect with Blake at @blakemallen.