On some level, we all like to feel part of a tribe.
We hate Trump or love Trump.
We “get” the joke.
We know the inside story behind the remark.
Have you ever heard of 143?
Fred Rogers of Mr. Rogers fame is the hold-up signs to children with that number. They understood the joke, even if you don’t, because they were insiders. Even today, the Fred Rogers Center maintains a 143 Club.
What is 143?
According to the Fred Rogers Center, “Fred Rogers considered the number “143” to be a very special number. He once said, “It takes one letter to say I and four letters to say love and three letters to say you. One hundred and forty-three.” In fact, he liked the number so much that he maintained the weight of 143 pounds for the last 30 years of his life.
Even today, when people text, they may sometimes text the message, “143,” to tell someone they love them.
Trekies, Seinfeld fans, sneaker aficionados, Deadheads . . . They all get it.
Being an outsider means you don’t get the joke.
Being an outsider means you don’t understand the reference.
It wasn’t for you.
You may think it’s stupid but it wasn’t intended for you.
It was intended for people who would get it.
It’s one of the painful places for older people because they don’t get the cultural references that have built up over time.
You may see the situations where there is a group talking to one another (there was a time before the pandemic, you know). They knew one another and were close to one another. You felt like an outsider and not part of the club.
And you weren’t.
If your manager or leader, how do you help people feel like insiders because the longer they feel like outsiders, the more likely they are to leave.
If your marketer, how do you help people get the joke and feel like it insider.
In the case of Trump, there is a different reference. It’s about enemies.
Both sides point to the other is the enemy.
Mass movements require enemies.
They evoke hatred for the other.
Particularly with mass movements, there are insiders and outsiders, people who are part of your group and people who are not part of your group.
It is another way of looking at insiders and outsiders.
Politicians have let the genie out of the bottle and will find it impossible to put it back in.
It is not about blaming them. We are complicit for following them.
It is part of our acceptance culturally of Mutant Leadership.
Until we stop rewarding this kind of leader, our cannibalistic behavior will devour the host.
It is up to us to follow the right kind of leader.
We haven’t had that leadership for a while.
Ⓒ The Big Game Hunter, Inc., Asheville, NC 2021
ABOUT JEFF ALTMAN, THE BIG GAME HUNTER
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 2000 episodes, and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.
Are you interested in 1:1 coaching, interview coaching, advice about networking more effectively, how to negotiate your offer or leadership coaching? Please click here to see my schedule to book a free discovery call or schedule time for coaching.