Fascism Lies in our Obsession: How Time’s 100 Most Influential People Engage
This post starts with me being asked the question: Who are you voting for?
I look at Time’s 100 Most Influential People and answer “no one”.
The list this year spans four categories: Pioneers, Artists, Leaders, and Icons. The curation spans medicine, researchers, activists, musicians, artists, local politicians, world leaders, and those who exhibited laudable characteristics. They are people we can admire, but also connect with. They are people we see in the media seen through the perspective of a friend. Through characteristics determined as “fiercely committed”, having “earned trust”, taking “concrete and actionable” measures, being “humble”, “patient”, “diligent in [their] craft, or a “tough negotiator” shows us the types of leadership that are possible.
This all goes to ask and answer the question of what we ask of our leaders and ourselves. To comment on others we call ourselves out.
To write a friend is a responsibility. It is more poignant than asking a set of interview questions.
I call the list engaging because of this form. As a writer, primarily creative, the form determines how the message is read. It felt casual, yet polished, a one-paragraph Instagram format biography lush in specificity. Leaders do not need to be written about; take a look at those writing the biographies.
This leads me to speak about “trailblazing”.
The Pull or the Response?
Marketers decide on inbound marketing (branding) combined with demand marketing in a 60/40 split according to LinkedIn Marketing Solutions. Clearly articulated, the right people will find the content that solves their problem. Re-target those who make it past the first webpage. It doesn’t need to be wordy.
Time’s 100 Most Influential People of 2020 has skillfully achieved the internet award ceremony by optimizing everyone else’s.
- Questions of diversity and representation were raised in the film award industry.
- Unapologetic artists, actors, authors, and athletes were featured.
- Champions of trans people, HIV populations, and other marginalized populations were highlighted.
- Restaurant owners, entrepreneurs, generals, comedians, philanthropists, and religious practitioners, and journalists received the spotlight.
- Proactive organizers and medical professionals at the forefront of Covid-19 were credited with stepping up in a time of “crisis”.
The use of “crisis” is a copywriting tactic, to communicate urgency, “only 10 spots left” or “only two options”, in this case making it crucial to vote.
See what language can do?
Lead with your heart, your truth, and the message will be clear.