It’s fascinating to me that with all of the articles, books, talks, training, podcasts, events, and courses on the subject of leadership, the importance of a battle cry is rarely addressed. Yet, if you study history, most of the great leaders of armies, countries, religions, athletic teams, and corporations have utilized one to rally their followers.
Often in the business world they are referred to as tag lines, or slogans, but I love the term battle cry.
If you want to truly understand the power of this rarely talked about tool of leadership, take a few seconds to think about this:
How many people in the history of mankind have laid down their lives for country or cause…right after hearing or shouting a battle cry?
Fortunately, not all battle cries result in death. In fact, it’s often the introduction of a battle cry that liberates people and saves lives. Regardless of the outcome, the greatest battle cries always inspire people to achieve more than they ever thought possible.
Not long ago, I was in Kenya. While I was there, I fell in love with their national battle cry, “harambee,” which in Swahili literally means, “pulling or working together.”
It originated with the East African fisherman, who had to work together to bring in the day’s catch. Later, it became the slogan of the first independent government of Kenya and I think the power of that one word is amazing.
A great battle cry is succinct, focused, and clear. It should allow people to unify with a single voice, and for a clear purpose. It’s a call to action, and should be a catalyst for getting things accomplished. Battle cries are inspiring, and must always be led by someone who believes every word of what they are saying. So, now I have to ask you-when it comes to your team, organization, and even your own family, what is your battle cry?
Duane Cummings lives life with a single purpose, “To Aid Others, Act on Ideas, and Achieve Sensational Results.” In addition to being an author, speaker, entrepreneur, and coach, Duane is the CEO of Leadercast and the Co-Founder of The Speakers Guild of America. You can connect with him @DuaneDCummings or learn more about him by visiting duanecummings.com.
Leadercast is an organization devoted to seeing the world filled with leaders worth following. Through live events held around the world, 24/7 digital learning platforms and strategic forward-thinking content, Leadercast is addressing the world’s leadership crisis by equipping and serving growing leaders around the globe.
“A great battle cry is succinct, focused, and clear.”