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  • Writer's pictureStu Lloyd

The Power of One: What's in a Name?

Did you see Boris Johnson's TV appearance the other day after he was released from ICU?

He singled out two nurses -- "Jenny from New Zealand and Luís from Portugal." -- who stood by his bedside "for 48 hours when things could have gone either way" making the necessary interventions to keep him alive.

What a difference it makes when we introduce a name (or names) to a story.

Suddenly we're not dealing in the macro-abstract -- which the human brain is not very good at processing -- but in the deeply personal.

And our brains love to work with the nitty-gritty of the human scale: the Power of One.

It's not the platitudinous and anonymous "frontline NHS workers". It was Jenny and Luis.

They're people too, with their own dreams, and aspirations and battles.

We possibly even get a picture in our mind's eye of what they might look like, which adds meat-hooks to our ability to visualize the scene.

And across the ocean, a similar example is being set by Andrew Cuomo, the New York Governor in his daily updates.

Instead of just talking of the elderly and vulnerable, he calls it "Matilda's Law."

So, who's Matilda and what's that about?

Matilda is his mum and protective order for those aged 70 is named for her ... and he encourages people to think of their own mothers when considering their behaviour and its implications.

Suddenly, it's not just some distant Orwellian Order from the Governor - it's some guy called Andrew with an at-risk mum called Matilda. We'd better do the right thing here.

Boom! The Power of One again.

So, as a leader, try to bring your messaging down to human scale to help us see it and feel it more.

And the more we feel it, the more we embrace your message.

(Image: Skynews)

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