There’s this certain fear that comes when we are faced with the possibility of facing our giants. The truth is that we need to wake them up, face them head-on, and trick them into carrying us up the mountain we are trying to conquer. In this episode, Bill Stierle and Tom define what a giant is and how to recognize them, and dive into how we can trick them into being the catalyst for our momentum. They give various examples to drive this point home both in the entrepreneurial and the political world.
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Truth, Differentiation And Tricking The Giant
Last time we got into a downer. The hard place in money and truth. We want to pivot from that. We have talked about truth differentiation. Now we’re talking about tricking the giant, which is intriguing.
The hardest part about money and truth is when this energy exchange thing that we use, which is money has the ability to skew truth easily. All you’ve got to do is say the thing over and over again. If no one’s there to call you on it or provide a counter-message to it that sticks, then what happened is the truth and the truth perspective gets skewed in the direction of the person with the loudest voice in the room. If you’ve got the loudest voice and the most money, you can promote something a certain way and lean it in a direction that you would like it to lean. That’s a big part of it. You talked a little bit about The Loudest Voice on Showtime. That’s a part of tricking the giant. Let me show you how this tricking the giant works regarding differentiation. When you think of mythology and you think about the character called the giant, what are some attributes that you would say that you would assign to a giant? Describe the way a giant is. Simply speaking, what’s a giant?
A giant is the tallest person in the room.
The giants are big. That’s the first thing about a giant. What’s the second thing about a giant?
They’re probably inherently scary because of their scale.
They’re scary because of their scale. “What are we going to do with this giant? It’s huge.”
There’s also fear of being stepped on.
That’s correct. If you’re not watching, the giants are going to step on you. You’ve got to do something about this giant or the giant will step on you. We’ve got these two big attributes. On the dumb or the smart side of the scale, where would you put a giant?
They’re usually not smart.
They’re big. They’re more on the slow side of the fence. Tricking the giant is something that is in many mythic tales. Before there were psychologists, there were storytellers, mythologists or shamans that told stories. The reason why they told these stories is because when an issue came up inside the community, there was a story to deal with the issue. In the various stories, it’s like, “We’ve got this giant we need to deal with. It’s this big thing that’s coming. What are we going to do to get the giant not to come our direction? How can we get the giant to move in a different direction, so it doesn’t go towards us? How can we get the giant away from us?” In many mythic tales, “How can I get the giant to carry me?”
One specific story I’m thinking about is called The Drummer. The hero is going to the glass mountain. His first step is to cross the forest of giants. This hero’s going in there. He’s going to rescue the princess on top of the glass mountain. He comes into the forest. He says, “I’m going into this forest. There are giants in here, but no big deal.” He has a drum. He’s going to beat his drum as he’s coming into this forest. He says, “I want to deal with the giant right away.” As he comes in, as he goes into this huge dark forest, he travels for a little while and then he comes into this clearing. He’s been beating his drum in the forest.
Sure enough, he woke a giant up. As he’s coming into this clearing, the giant is standing there and says, “You woke me from my nap. I’m going to eat you.” That’s the first thing the giant says to him. The drummer looks up and says, “No, you’re not.” The giant goes, “I’m going to pull you limb from limb and I’m going to eat you.” The drummer looks up and says, “No, you’re not. Even if you’re lucky enough to get your slow foot to land on me, I’ve got a hundred drummers coming this way. Not only do they have drums, they also have little hammers. If you try to sleep, they’re going to pound you in the head and they’re not going to let you sleep.” The giant goes, “I want to go back to sleep.”
The giant is trying to deal with one drummer. The giant wants to eat the drummer, so it goes away. He says, “I’ve got a hundred drummers coming this way.” All of a sudden, the giant is scared. The giant looks to the drummer and he goes, “I don’t want those drummers to come this way. I want to go back to sleep.” The drummer looks up to the giant and says, “I’ll make you a deal. If you carry me to the glass mountain, I’ll send word back, so the drummers don’t come this way.” The giant goes, “Would you do that for me?” The drummer says, “I’ll do that for you.” He lifts him, puts him on his shoulder and carries him for some distance to a second giant that carries him to another set of distance.
He’s got to do the same trick and then to a third giant who has a hat and he puts the drummer up on the hat. They’re going along through the forest and they come to the edge of the forest and they see the glass mountain out there. The drummer says to the giant, “Carry me to the top of that glass mountain.” The giant with a hat takes him off to the edge of the forest where there’s this desert expanse before the glass mountain. The giant looks at him and says, “There’s no way I’m going near that glass mountain. He turns around and goes back to the forest. There are some things a giant will not do. He will not be caught in the open like that.
A giant will never face a big challenge like the glass mountain the way we think it needs to. This little metaphor here is exactly what’s happening in media and politics. It’s exactly what’s happening in all of our constructs in dealing with the truth. We can’t get enough momentum going because most of the people are lost in the forest. They’re trying to beat the drum but they’re not facing the giant that needs to carry them. They’re not creating the moments and series of the moments that are going to carry. The Democrats are not creating the series of moments necessary to trick the giant. They’re stuck in the forest of policy.
This is probably a little bit logical as they jockey for position or getting on the debate stage. They’re all arguing with each other trying to demonstrate why they’re the one that should carry the mantle of the Democratic Party. It’s a bit different. It seems when sometimes they go after Donald Trump, everybody is saying the same thing. When they talk about healthcare, they’re all talking about variations of the same thing. It’s hard to rise above that.
I noticed that you use the metaphor “rise above” which is get the damn giant to carry you, so you get above the forest. All of a sudden, you’re running. Kamala Harris did that in the first debate with her little girl’s speech. It tricked the media into carrying her but she had no trick for the second giant to carry her to the next place.
Have you seen the poll that she’s dropped significantly from double-digit down to 5%? It hasn’t been sustaining.Most of the people are lost in the forest. They’re trying to beat the drum but they’re not facing the giant that needs to carry them. Click To Tweet
You’ve got to get the second and the third giants to carry you. You’ve got to get them to get you to the edge of the forest. You’ve got this big expanse of desert before you get to the glass mountain, which is called the primary. When you’re getting into the mix and climbing the glass mountain, it is not something you want to do. There’s another trick that needs to be placed at the glass mountain. What happens is that Donald Trump did a wonderful job of tricking the giant. The giant that he was tricking is media. He tricked the media giant into following him. Why did he get the media to follow him? He created a series of dopamine hits for the media to have a camera waiting and on and being live with him not even being there. That was called creating an anticipatory set. This is a classic sales technique. Uncertainty is the second part of the anticipation, “We’re waiting. Is he okay? Is there something that got in the way? We’re waiting to hear his message.” That is tricking the media giant. The media giant got tricked into covering him.
The media is not the only giant. There is an educational giant. There’s the government giant. There’s the business giant. There are all these different giants that we have that are regrettably tricking the massive population into getting them to do what they want, which is sleep and not wake up. It’s what the giant is trying to enroll the person to do. The reason why voter participation is not being engaged is because for years, the government giant has not been able to be in service for the people. The giant is supposed to carry us, not to make us all go to sleep. At least half the voting population is asleep with the government giant called, “This is too big and too complex for me to follow. This is beyond my vocabulary. This is beyond my ability to understand the complexity of education, government, big business and media.” What are your thoughts about this whole concept of tricking the giant?
I’m thinking of some interviews I’ve seen with Donald Trump’s supporters who are saying, “The economy is good and employment is low. I don’t like how he talks or some of the things he says.” It seems where they are is on the economy. “The economy is good in general. I’m happy. I’m not going to pay attention to or care as much about these other details.”
That’s right, “I am going to throw these other high-value and high-stake values under the bus because I want to sleep with the economy giant.” The rush of energy when a huge tax cut comes in like that in rich people get. They get to invest now and buy back stocks and play in the stock market and so forth. It’s again honoring Wall Street and starving Main Street.
The President would try to have you sleep through the Wall Street portion.
The great distractor is that Wall Street is what the economy is. 40% of Wall Street is owned or is invested by the top 0.1%. That tells you right there that everybody that’s not in the 0.1% has no skin in the game. The media giant keeps going towards the stock market because the media giant and the business giant are playing off of each other pretending. That’s where all the money is. Why would I ever wake up a hundred drummers and get them to come after me with little hammers and little drums?
One of the most interesting things that is a good example is not only the media giant. Another aspect as well is if you heard Donald Trump at a rally saying, “You need to elect me because if you don’t, your 401(k) is going to go down the tubes.” Something to that effect, I’m not quoting exactly.
That is a trick, the giant message. He’s tricking the masses into staying with him by inherently doing the same thing as the character in our story did, which was lie to the giant. People are okay if you lie to a giant because it’s big and dumb. I want to go where I want to go. It’s like a ten-year-old or twelve-year-old mindset that gets hooked into, “Just so the giant carries me, it doesn’t matter if it’s not carrying these other people. It’s not particularly good for government or for the population to get these different giants to play off each other, but this is the way this one works.”
The Democrats don’t have any idea because they would frame it that way. They’d frame it the way I did it. Do you see how interesting it got when I said, “Wall Street is doing this and Main Street is starving?” That is a counter-giant message. That is, “We better pay attention to these little people. We better pay attention to this politician because they know what they’re talking about.” There’s nothing like Barack Obama’s tricking the giant by saying to the American public and being on camera, “It’s going to take about $700 billion to right the economy.”
He portionalized that down from what people feared it might be.
The real number was $1 trillion. He picked or they picked $700 billion of public money to bail out private Wall Street businesses that were floundering and dying right there on the vine.
Would Barack Obama saying, “If you want to keep your doctor, you can keep your doctor,” be another tricking the giant?These giants are playing off of each other and the truth gets lost. Because of that, the messaging of an inspired vision and a compelling mission are missing in the democratic narrative. Click To Tweet
It is. Of course, it’s too complex. They’re not going to tell the truth all the time. The truth is not as important here. People are going to call you on the truth. From a detail standpoint, you can pick, edge and wedge somebody. If you are not speaking the message, especially for the population of stability and reassurance that things are going to work out for all of us instead of for you. It’s going to work out mostly for all of us, that’s why I’m voting for you.
That message doesn’t fly, does it?
No, it doesn’t fly. The giants are going to be like, “I’m going to eat you. I’m going to pull you limb from limb.” The problem is they don’t know what the second sentence is. They don’t know what the next message is. They don’t realize that they’ve got to trick the giant into keeping them floating. Donald Trump tricks the giant every morning with a tweet. He gets the eyeballs to move in his direction, even if it’s controversial and even if that’s not true. The media giant struggles with the truth on its behalf. Its belief structures about what its role is and identity is different from talking about the truth. Because they’re in bed with the business part of it, if they talk about too much truth, they lose major advertisers. The business giant starts eating them by pulling funding.
These giants are playing off of each other. What’s getting lost is the truth. Because of that, the messaging of an inspired vision and a compelling mission, those two things are missing in the democratic narrative even though the democratic narrative would be healthier for the country. The Republican narrative is healthier for more of the rich and the powerful and the powers that be. I could see the good reason why Mitch McConnell is taking Russian oligarchs’ money to put a big aluminum manufacturing plant in his state and taking money for that. It’s not going to be in his slogan. “I took Russian money to build a factory for Kentucky because of how expensive it is to get American companies. They don’t want to gamble about this. This Russian oligarch has all this money and it’s going to hire all these people in my impoverished state of Kentucky where nobody wants to come and build anything. This person’s going to build something.”
He’ll trick the giant and he won’t talk about that its Russian money at all. He’s probably going to even distance himself so much to say that, “During my last term, we’ve increased employment in Kentucky by X. We’ve increased wages by X regardless of where it comes from.”
That’s how he’s tricking the giant. Also, the long-term play and the long-term challenge is something that the business giant has been doing and eating out politics for a long time. If I take Boeing as another big business giant, they’re going to manufacture their plane in all the different congressional districts that they need to employ the people and get the votes. In order to bring those higher-paying jobs into those communities, get the votes they need, get the funding they need and build the planes. There’s the vicious cycle of money, votes, employment, tricking the giant narrative and keeping it moving.
I like this metaphor of tricking the giant. Another thing that’s in our news cycle a lot had been these two mass shootings that took place in El Paso and in Dayton. There’s a big gun debate and I saw an interesting poll. It was a Fox News poll which I’m sure has irked Donald Trump. It says that 67% of Americans favor new legislation on either background checks or banning assault weapons. That is more than two-thirds of the American public. It’s a staggering number of people and yet there’s this NRA giant.
The NRA is a big giant funded by giant gun manufacturers. You also got to be careful about how you wake up the giant. You got to scare it to carry you, not piss it off, so it eats you. People piss off the giant and it eats them.
I wasn’t sure if the NRA is the giant or the NRA is tricking the giant. They’re good at it.
It’s one giant whispering into the ear of another giant, whispering into another giant. All the giants are great because they eat people’s lives. They eat the environment. They gobble up what the other giant is saying to them. Monsanto is talking to the EPA. The giants start working off of each other and they start eating each other. This is what business consolidation looks like. This is AT&T buying HBO. What happens is these different companies buy each other. They’re giants eating giants. They start running out of food and the food that they’re starving for is, “How do I leverage cashflow and how do I leverage influence? How do I get another giant to start being on my team?” A food giant will be an alignment with another giant. You take Amazon and they buy Whole Foods. One giant bought another giant.
What happens is that it allows all kinds of nifty things that two giants can do to talk to each other. Is it problematic? It’s problematic for the grower at the bottom of the food chain. It’s problematic for the person that’s selling the tomato or making the product because now they own the distribution piece all the way from, “You want to order something and you want it right now or you want to go pick it up? It’s over at Whole Foods in a locker for you.” It’s like a little unsettling because that’s the way giants do. Giants will work to figure out a way to eat the environment and they’re going to eat the resources. They eat creativity. Giants eat entrepreneurs and low-income people.
Entrepreneurs are probably a prototypical person trying to get multiple giants to carry them to the glass mountain. Let’s tie this to some of our current political climates. I have a way to do that. There are some signs that maybe this economy, which Donald Trump has been riding to his great benefit saying, “Don’t pay attention to all this stuff. That’s different from the presidential norm because the economy’s so good. Of course, you love me.” We’re starting to get some signs that maybe the economy may not be staying so rosy for him. Forget going into all the reasons why. Except for the moment, that seems to be the case. While you’re trying to get the giant to believe the economy is great, and then you start having some signs that it’s not, things could get out of control. The giant can’t be easily tricked at that point if you’re Donald Trump. I want you to comment on that and then on the flip side, how can the Democrats start to trick the giant?Giants working off of each other and eating each other is what business consolidation looks like. Click To Tweet
First, I’m going to side with Donald Trump on this. What I’m going to side with Donald Trump is sometimes when he says, “Don’t believe the media,” he’s saying, “The media giant is working against me. Don’t believe that giant.” I’m going to side with him a little bit because the economy is a lot bigger than Donald Trump as a leader and/or as a policymaker. The giant is already plotting along with the capitalist giant with all of its different minion giants that are supporting the capitalist giant that’s walking the way. It is called USA giant which is a whole other set of problems to it.
He’s right. There’s fake news sometimes, as he’s calling fake news, “Here’s a counter-message.” He doesn’t get this although he’s had a successful career in doing this. Once you do a scorched earth narrative, which is what he’s doing, his brand and his legacy will crumble quickly after he’s gone. I saw, it’s like Roger Ailes and Fox News. Since you do scorched-earth narrative, the legacy crumbles because nobody wants to feed the giant anymore. It’s like a senator will say, “I’m not going to feed Fox News because I don’t want them to have advertising money. I’m going to starve that giant. I’m going to starve it openly.”
You would like me to go on there, as Bill Maher would say because you’ve got to get those hundred drummers that are listening to the Fox News narrative. You got to go to where they are and insert a narrative. You’ve got to trick that giant. Bill Maher’s correct about this. Also, Elizabeth Warren is correct for not going on, “I am going to starve the money out of the giant.” Both of them are right, but the question is which one of them is going to get the traction? Fox News is never going to put Elizabeth Warren on there. All of a sudden, she’s got to be in. All the voter on Fox News is going to remember her as Pocahontas, the gaff that tricks the belief that she had from her grandma and the story.
The Democrats need to trick the giant by doing some similar things that you and I are doing here when we’re using phrases, metaphors and initiatives that set the vision and convince the mission. We want to set the vision. Here’s the vision of where we’re going. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders do an okay job of setting the vision. Where their trouble is they’re not fully enrolling people behind the mission. Otherwise, their numbers would be killer. They’d be huge and the giant would carry them from where they’re going.
Bernie Sanders has been at it for so long that he is still on point. It’s the same message he had many years ago about the rich and the well to do and this is what’s happening. “We’ve been hijacked and nobody knows this better than I do. This is what you guys are doing. You’re stealing money from the social network and you’re putting it in the pockets of rich people.” That’s it. I forgot to mention one of the giants is the religious giant, the spirituality giant, the giant of all the different religions. Those are also giants because they enroll and hijack and have people following them and their belief structures.
Those giants need to start moving in a direction too. Donald Trump did a great job of hijacking that set of giants to believe that this person that is outside of it. All he did was quote four Bible verses poorly. Everyone goes, “He’s got the hour. He’s on our team. He’s this.” He’s done all this other stuff but it’s not that true. Those other fourteen women are lying and all the things he said out of his mouth aren’t true. That’s a locker room talk. That was Hillary Clinton’s miss. That’s when she would have been elected. All she had to say is, “We’re going to go with the middle-school attitude about a locker room talk. You’d like a middle-schooler to run the country because that’s what you’re saying.”
That would have been so much better than arguing the fact we all know it wasn’t locker room talk, which is all that she said.
That’s all she said. “We all know it wasn’t locker room talk. Call it what it is. You would like to be a middle-schooler and have middle-school attitude respect towards women. Is that where you want to go?” He might come back with while your husband. “I have my husband in line right now.” That’s all she had to say. All the women that would have voted for Donald Trump would have gone with her. Why? Because all she had to say is exactly what she did. “My husband’s in line right now and you’re not.”
“My husband came into alignment with whatever.”
It was over three sentences. Why are people not knowing to trick the giant? People do not know how to utilize language. That’s the biggest thing. The next time that we’re going to talk about this giant and this drummer getting to the top of the glass mountain. At the base of the glass mountain is where truth needs to have this strong differentiation narrative. That gets the person to the top of the glass mountain without getting killed.
Is the first glass mountain to talk about the mountain of winning the Democratic nomination? Is it the fight between all of these people trying to become a nominee and then there will be another glass mountain later on for the presidencies? Is it like the Seven Summits because there’s always another one?
That’s an interesting metaphor. That metaphor partially works, but on top of this glass mountain, there’s a hag that’s on there that the drummer has to face. The hag is big and dangerous and gives the drummer some tasks that are insurmountable. That’s the thing that the drummer needs to work on whatever candidate it is that figures out how to get to the top of the glass mountain. You got to trick the hag also. It’s not as much of a trick. You have to participate in the hag’s tasks in order to move through a difficult time at the top of the glass mountain. That’s where all the candidates are about ready to face. They don’t know that they’re going to do that. They think that they got to keep shaking hands to get a hundred drummers. They are lost in the policy forest. They have no business in the policy forest. They got to start moving towards vision and mission.
It’s the vision, mission and demonstrating leadership qualities that are going to motivate people to support them.
Do people who voted for Donald Trump believe that he’s the smartest person on the planet?
There’s no way.
The next time, let’s go and take a look at what it takes to get to the top of the glass mountain. We might even take a look at what the hag is going to do. I’m not sure if we’ll get through all three of the tests that the drummer has to go through next time. We are going to figure out how to get to the top of this glass mountain. Whether it’s Pete Buttigieg, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders, all the frontrunners need to know how to handle these big energies.
I’m excited to talk about that some more.
More to come, Tom. Thanks a lot.