Behold, The Patron Saint of Purpose


If you have a cause or a purpose in your life and in your profession,  you can learn a lot from the orgy of mirror balls and bubble clusters who is the new Mother Teresa of tribal leadership.

Oh my Gaga!

What the heck is tribal leadership?

It’s connecting a group of people who share a common worldview and a common passion. A passion powerful enough to disrupt conventions, create new ways of doing things, and transform the people it touches.

And if you haven’t heard, Lady Gaga is now the official patron saint of these special kinds of relationships. She’s been set apart by Jim Joseph, author of The Experience Effect.

Where true believers can take you

In the off-chance you’ve been living under a rock somewhere and you’re not familiar with the lady in question, Lady Gaga is the biggest pure pop music star of the moment.

The New York Times calls her, “a mercurial talent lurking beneath an orgy of mirror balls and bubble clusters and vinyl curtains and sticky lace.”

But according to Joseph, she’s a branding genius. One who cause-driven organizations should not only study, but whose behavior they should emulate. And when you break down her brand strategies I think he’s right on.

Best practices of a trampy vinyl-curtained, sticky-laced brand visionary

Gaga on touching and being touched

In another article reporting on a Lady Gaga event at Madison Square Garden, the New York Times gives some real insight into the Gaga brand’s ability to connect with her tribe’s unique worldview and use it to become their leader.

“Since my sister told me my 16-year-old niece Phoebe was a fan, I invited her along. While we were waiting for a parking spot, I asked her what she liked about Lady GaGa.

‘I like her because I would never be brave enough to do that,’ Phoebe replied.

A purpose based on little monsters

 “Now, I thought that was pretty interesting. Because Lady GaGa’s artistic mission, it seems to me, aside from making mega-hits, is like a 21st century PG-13 version of that old Marlo Thomas TV special Free to Be You and Me.

Once the concert got underway, she addressed the crowd like a combination Girl Scout den mother and tent-revival preacher.

‘It doesn’t matter who you are – you can be whoever you wanna be, my little monsters,’ Lady GaGa said from the stage.”

The shiny, sequined underbelly of tribalism

Of course, lurking underneath all that seething, seamless brand experience behavior are some well thought out strategies.

I think there are at least eight things that are worth considering no matter what your cause might be:

  1. Clearly define and focus your brand on desired but unmet needs of a specific tribe.
  2. Understand their worldview.
  3. Define and describe your tribe and how you will lead them.
  4. Define your brand’s purpose. What’s its reason for being to your tribe beyond making money.
  5. Intersect emotionally, as well as functionally, with their lives.
  6. Discover and define all potential brand touch points.
  7. Focus on those where your tribe’s lives intersect with your brand’s reason for being.
  8. Deliver unwavering consistency in all you do.

But that’s just my opinion. What’s your take?.