Chapter 8: A Message Needs a Leader (How to Lead Your Tribe)

[#WhatsYourMessage Day 18]

As you spread your message, there will be those who will be listening and following you.

They are your tribe members. There are three basic things that you need to do as the bearer of the message that they follow.

“Serve them”

Each week, I publish a newsletter to my email list. These are people who sign up online, (or tell me, “Hey Kirby, here’s my email, can you add me?) for my weekly Fired Up Newsletter [kirbyllaban.com/firedupnewsletter].

As they receive my newsletter, some of them email back. Either they ask a question, thank me, or they also share their own reflection of the topic of the email I sent.

I respond to each of them, knowing that they are those who are blessed with the message I’m sharing. This is my form of service.

One time, my Fired Up newsletter talked about “Being Tough.” A lot of them were going through a difficult phase in their work. In their emails, they shared about their struggle — of how they want to give up already. They said, that the article I sent them gave them the timely encouragement that they needed.

I felt that I was making a difference in their lives, and it affirmed me that my message was something people needed to hear. I didn’t realize at that time that I was already leading a tribe. I just kept serving them, each week.

“Inspire them”

As you go through your day, there will be things that will inspire you.

As for me, I love reading books, and I share to my tribe the wisdom that I pick up from what I read, and give it my own take. At times, I go through difficult challenges and I reflect on it. I translate it to a realization that I share on my email list or on my social media accounts. When I experience a victory in my life, I also share how I got there and what I’ve learned in the process.

Inspirations come each day, and we just have to learn to be more mindful and sensitive.

I believe that if we only become more grateful, we can see the wisdom in everyday things. As people follow you, think of how you can inspire them. You don’t have to try so hard, just share what inspires you today, big or small.

“Lead them”

Lead as an Expert

People follow you because you’ve discovered something or mastered a subject that they want to learn about.

Some of us may actually be experts of the message we bear. What I mean by an expert is that you’ve studied, researched and mastered your message. This would be like the set-up in a university where the teacher stands as an expert on the subject. This is one way of leading them.

Lead as a Person with Experience

Another is by way of your advanced experience. “You’ve been there, and done that” and so you want to guide those who are still on their way to where you’ve been. So, you lead them like a “tour guide,” explaining to them the importance of each stage. Michael Hyatt talks about being like a sherpa, or the person people hire to guide them in climbing up a mountain, like Mount Everest. A sherpa has been up in the mountains, and his advanced experiences can save lives.

Lead by Accompaniment

The third way to lead others is by way of accompaniment. This means you’re not an expert, and you don’t have advanced experience. You are in the same boat as the people you’re sharing your message. You simply share what you’re currently struggling with — you are inviting people to accompany you in your journey and in the same way you are accompanying them. For example, you’re a first time parent and you are documenting how you are taking care of your new born baby. Other first time parents resonate with your realizations and perhaps you can also share some “hacks” that you’ve discovered along the way.

In time you progress from being one who accompanies, to one who has advanced experience, and finally becoming an expert.

When I shared my Fired Up Life message, I led others by way of having an advanced experience. I shared about my struggles in being self-motivated and found a way that worked for me. So “I’ve been to the mountain” and telling others how to get there. It’s the same with what I’m doing with this book, What’s Your Message, I’m sharing to you how I was able to discover my message and how I’m sharing it to my tribe.

But in a different case, I’m also sharing my “40-day challenge” in writing this book, of which I’m leading others by way of accompaniment. Each day I share with my audience (you), my own struggles and discoveries in making this book.

Next, learn about where to find you’re tribe members. Hint: Most of them are not in your facebook friends list.

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