I am no political commentator, pundit, operative, or shill. Consider me "A-Political." I do vote, but that's about it. (I say this so I do not get spammed to death from one political campaign, party, or candidate. This post is NOT about politics. So spare me, puh-lease.)
I am a "connection theorist" by habit. I like to see how something works in one area and think of how I would apply that activity to another. You probably do the same—we can connect seemingly unique or disparate activities to make a bigger point. Our daily mantra is: "Can this work over here?"
So, the Ron Paul phenomenon fascinates me. Rather, the intensity of his supporters fascinates me and makes me wonder what he did, or does, to make grown men leave little cards with "Ron Paul" on the tops of urinals or stamp their $1 bills with his name. They are Believers, with a capital B.
How can you develop a Ron Paul-type movement in your own company, where your people are so engaged that they become evangelists for your business?
Here are three ways:
1. Find an enemy. Nothing is more effectively emotional than building a business that is better-faster-cheaper than a competitor. Whereas some companies like to ignore a competitor, others draw strength. Paul does it by going after the perceived weaknesses of both parties. People love to work for an underdog.
2. Make a movement, not another brochure. What is the larger, transcendent goal of your business? On one level, JobDig (my company) sells help-wanted advertising to employers; on another, we are helping people dig their job. It is a noble calling, rather than a for-profit endeavor. Paul has created a movement.
3. Talk that way. If you have watched his YouTube videos, you can see how his supporters talk. It's "I Believe" or "We Believe." The excitement and conviction show through—it is not intellectual; it is emotional. Someone in your company should be able to connect with the emotional needs of your people. But most of us want to retain our "coolness" and won't even try. There is nothing cool about Ron Paul.
G.L. Hoffman is a serial entrepreneur and venture investor/operator/incubator/mentor. Two of his companies have traveled the entire success path from the garage to IPO. Currently, he is chairman of JobDig, and his blog can be found at WhatWouldDadSay.com or at JobDig.com.