Be Bold

So why do few leaders stand out from the crowd? If you want your organization to stand out BE BOLD.  We’ve talked about becoming a market leader, so what. What you really need to do is become the most fascinating person in your market.  So how do you do this?   I know what you’re thinking, “It’s easy for you, Tripp. You have a great sense of humor, a great life biography and look sexy in a black tee shirt.” Wow where did that come from?  Well, the first two may be true, but it’s not about me. So states Sally Hogshead in her fascinating book on Fascination, Fascinate Your 7 Triggers to Persuasion and Captivation.  She shares with us that people see so many messages every day that you must stand out if you hope to break through the noise you must fascinate. Now how do you do this?.

Sally’s book is filled with great ideas on how people today are fascinated. She identifies several triggers in her book that make even the most average among us fascinating. It’s like an owner’s manual on how to communicate with your best clients and stakeholders.

Here are three things I learned and adopted from her book.  You might find them fascinating, as well.

First, I learned people are fascinated with prestige. People at all levels of society are fascinated with status symbols. They are always interested in what other do and buy. I see this as peer pressure and I’ve seen it work for me and many of my best clients. People always want to know what people in the know know.  I’m always surprised how quickly clients respond when they think you’ve uncovered some new success secret from one of my more well-known clients. When I worked with Dr. Deming, a mere mention of him would get me meetings with US Senators, Fortune 10 CEOs and Governors.  It’s amazing how people around the world wanted to be associated with him and his leadership principles. Think about your own organization.  How might you use prestige in your business?

Second, I learned people want to trust you. For many of my most conservative clients, trust is the most critical element of my relationship with them. They know that what they say stays with me no matter what. But I was amazed how easy it is to create a trusting relationship through several easy tips Sally shares in her book. The most critical elements are consistency and authenticity. Those are as simple to manage, aren’t they?  This is where I step away from Sally’s book and add a Be Bold Tip from Tripp. I’ve made a living for many years by predicting trends in different industries. I always add a big idea to my mix of conservative views. I’m right about half the time on the big ideas but it got me invited to speak for several years because people would have me back because I became the king of the future sound bite. The media loved me because of my brashness, borrowed from Richard Branson and my easily shared ideas for their best readers. For example, one year I spoke in front of the Microsoft Windows 2000 launch event and declared that half the audience would not be doing the same job in five years if they were even still employed in information technology. I was wrong, it took six years. Several of my best CIO clients remind me about it on a regular basis. Only half are still CIOs, several are COOs today. This could also fall under Sally’s trigger of alarm but you must really read her book.

The third thing I learned I include for my clients who forget about emotions in their technology marketing. Sally talks about Lust. For entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs, he had this in spades. How many other people could make you want your phone to be an object of desire? Even in the most conservative industries, sex appeal sells. We are a very image conscious society. Take a look at the advertising in Wired magazine, a magazine designed to be the Maxim for us technologists, and you uncover a whole group of products that make us sexier and wanted. There is nothing sexier than a consultant that doesn’t want to be approached about their business.  Another favorite Be Bold Tip from Tripp is to be unavailable. People want what they can’t have and using this in the right way can change your business forever. I was featured in CEO magazine years ago featuring many thought leaders and how the saw technology changing their businesses. After a few short questions, I told the writer that I couldn’t answer several of her more intriguing questions  because of my confidential relationship with several key clients, but I would be able to talk about it one on one with the CEOs of potential clients. I got 17 calls from CEOs setting up appointment to discover what I really thought over the next several weeks. I wouldn’t have got many of these meeting without Being Bold. So you should be to.

I know I promised you several practical ideas on how to get PR, but because of Neil Armstrong’s passing, I spent several additional hours writing about him and his unique leadership lessons for several technology clients. Much of my early career was spent working on various Shuttle projects including robotic technologies and advanced material development with Rockwell International. I have a different perspective on this historic man. If you’re interested in reading about his life lessons, you can find the blog at Developing Serving Leaders or at

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