It’s a fantastic story told by Orson Scott Card, one of Science Fiction’s most celebrated writers.
Tucked away in Card’s classic “Ender’s Game” is an effective “How-To Guide” for becoming a powerful Tribe leader.
Here’s the CliffNotes version:
In the near future, the Earth is attacked by a vicious race of intelligent insects (The Buggers). After one close battle the military brass realize that they can only win the war if
they find a brilliant, once-in-a-generation military strategist.
Due to some mind-bending laws of physics – the final attack on The Buggers home world would not start for years. So Earth’s FUTURE savior was currently in elementary school.
The military elite combed the globe, conscripting highly intelligent children. They send them to Battle School where they are taught the art of war through a complex zero-g battle simulation.
One student, Ender Wiggin is an immediate superstar His IQ is off the charts. His leadership abilities are astonishingly mature and inspirational. He forms a group of students that he named his “Jeesh” (pronounced jay-eesh). Together, they never lost a war game, even when the game was unfair.
Together these kids forge a bond thicker than blood. Their combined talents save the Earth.
So end’s this epic sci-fi classic. Or does it?
Here’s what captured my attention.
Ender’s Jeesh; the tightly woven tribe united by purpose, experience and mutual respect. They dominated their enemies and saved the world.
My question to you is – Who’s in your blog community’s Jeesh?
Before you answer, let’s borrow a guideline from Seth Godin’s post First, ten
Godin says that the new rules for gaining real influence mandates you start with Ten people who absolutely loyal to you, your product or your service.
These First Ten are your Jeesh.
This group, if properly inspired, nurtured and mobilized can start a movement, launch a company or make a blog into a must-have resource for millions.
How To Recruit Your Jeesh
First, your Jeesh finds you. They are attracted by unique content, authentic personality, and your personal story. Success depends on you mastering the discipline of “publishing well and publishing often”. The more inspirational breadcrumbs you drop the easier it will be to attract your Jeesh.
Once they have found their way to your blog they will raise their hands to try out your community.
You will spot your best Jeesh member by looking for 3 important signs in blog comments, testimonials and Twitter/Facebook replies:
#1: A Change in Perspective
The Jeesh prospect demonstrates a fundamental change in how they view the world because of your content. You have connected in a profound way and they have adopted your worldview.
“Wow, this post has opened my eyes. I never would have seen this for myself.”
#2: Personal Identification
Your Jeesh member wholeheartedly wears the “buff” and carries the flag. They are the first to request a name for your Jeesh. They consider snide comments as a personal insult.
Twilight Fans are split into two camps: Those who love Edward the Vampire and those who worship Jacob the Werewolf. The book has crossed the line and become personal.
#3: Moved to Action
This go-getter actually votes with their wallet or contributes tangibly to your community. They want to publicly state their allegiance to your tribe and aren’t satisfied with simply re-tweeting or leaving a “great post” comment.
“Hello, I just purchased 10 copies of your ebook to distribute to my team. Are you available for a speaking engagement?”
How to Engage and Mobilize Your Jeesh
Now that you’ve selected your Jeesh, it time to save the world (at least your corner of it). Here are some effective steps to deepen your bond with your Jeesh and mobilize them to take action.
Share Your Vision
Your Jeesh wants to follow you. They just need to know where they are going. This is why a well thought-out About Us page is important for any blog. This is where people decide who you are and what you stand for.
You can take your Vision one step further by writing a series of posts on your perspective of the world. Outline who the blog is for, who it isn’t for, and your core beliefs. These posts will form the foundation of your personal manifesto.
Actively Pull Them Into Your Circle of Trust
Demonstrate your trust in your Jeesh by finding ways to include them in your decision making process.
You can do this by:
- Offering them sneak peeks at upcoming blog posts
- Allowing them to comment immediately on your blog without moderation
- Immediately re-tweeting their posts and vocally supporting their projects
- Asking them to be moderators and leaders in your private membership sites and forums
- Giving them free copies of paid products (Takes guts but worth it)
These small acts will signal that you trust and value your Jeesh’s opinions. They will in turn support and spread your influence.
Fascinate Them Don’t Sell Them
Your Jeesh is already on your side. They tend to be “hyper-responsive”, purchasing, signing up and spreading everything you offer. So, don’t make the fatal mistake of trying to sell your Jeesh anything.
Instead, fascinate them. Tell them the back-story of your product launch. Share with them the flaws, quirks and little surprises buried in the product. Offer them extras, bonuses and exclusive access that the general public doesn’t know exist. Your Jeesh wants access to you, do all that you can to show them your personal side.
How to Get Started Now
It’s your turn to take action. Take out a piece of paper, number 10 spaces and write in the name of your Jeesh members. Email them and tell them that you value their friendship and support. Ask their permission to reach out to them periodically to be a sounding board for new ideas, posts, or products.
But Before You Do…Leave a comment below and give me your thoughts on how you plan to form your Jeesh. Do you already have a Jeesh? How important has it been to your success?