starting a revolution

As my family joined together tonight to watch the beautiful premiere of the HBO miniseries John Adams, it occurred to me how the principles of strategy and branding are similar whether you are launching a new product line or in the making of a revolution.

You need what my dad calls a "level 5 leader." This is someone who brings humility and courage to the table. An individual who is able to inspire others to action and perhaps transform cultural paradigms. When we were children we learned about Thomas Jefferson and George Washington as brilliant thinkers and leaders of our colonial era, however, it was John Adams who engaged them to act.

You need a core of believers. These are people who come from a variety of places and represent various traditions and economic conditions, however, all share the same set of values and mission in life. Even though John Adams was very different from his delegate from South Carolina, John Rutledge, they both valued their independence to the extent that their differences could be laid aside.

You need a rallying cry. "Join, or Die," for instance, was a term coined by Benjamin Franklin in a 1754 cartoon depicting the disunited state of the British American colonies. It was a line used well into the Revolution as a method of persuading others to act upon their independence.

You need a measurement tool. For the newly established United States of America, the Constitution was the first measurement of law. To this day, it holds each branch of government accountable for independence as a whole.


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