Welcome to part four of the series revisiting the 10 lessons learned from my book…three years later. To catch up, read the overview, revisit the passion conversation post and revisit the first conversations post.
This time around we’re talking about inspirational leadership when it comes to advocate programs. And I’ll keep this one short and sweet, because not much has changed here. The premise from the book is that influencers are great, but given the choice, I’d choose passionate people first, because influence can be created, but passion can’t. In other words, I can’t get an influential person to care about my brand, but I can find people who are already passionate about my brand and create influence around them. I’ve written about it many times, like how we created influence around Jared and his love of his Chevy Camaro. Or how we should use influencers for the broadcast channels they are (top-down approach) while fostering relationships with passionate people to build a groundswell (bottom-up approach) and meet in the middle.
So, yes, we need inspirational leadership for advocate programs. And in my experience, inspirational means relatable. It means accessible. It means someone I aspire to be like. Don’t get me wrong, you need to cultivate relationships with both the influential and the passionate (and when those two are found in one group/individual, even better). But when it comes to those who will be picking up the banner and leading the charge, passion trumps influence. Every. Single. Time.