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Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.

Written by: Vickie Sullivan  |  June 27, 2017

What the ACLU can teach business leaders

What the ACLU can teach business leaders

Well, this will get interesting. I’ve thought long and hard about using this article about the ACLU as an example for entrepreneurs and business leaders. Politics aside, this blow-by-blow Fast Company article is a good case study about standing out in chaotic markets.

The ACLU’s rise to become a leader in a sea of voices has lessons for any of us who want to be the front-runner. Move past your politics for a second, and think about how you can apply these great ideas:

• Prepare for anything. The ACLU outlined Donald Trump’s (and Hillary Clinton’s) top promises and the constitutionality of each. Yes, it was tedious. And the hard work paid off when Trump’s executive orders ran red lights. The legal strategy was already there. No scrambling.

• Be first. The morning after the election, the ACLU threw down the gauntlet with a strongly worded letter to Trump via The New York Times. They became the focal point. Others coalesced around them. Be respectful, but don’t back down.


Listen: How to be bold without the blowback


• Networks matter. The ACLU made the choice in favor of many lawsuits instead of one big battle. To do that, they had to depend on their affiliates. It’s a great example of how infrastructure must be in place before you need it. Mobilization matters.

These strategic approaches work not only in politics, but in any environment where no one is standing out in a sea of good ideas, rants and responses. When you become the focal point, you become the front-runner.


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About Vickie Sullivan

Vickie Sullivan is internationally recognized as the top market strategist for thought leaders, professional speakers and B2B professional service firms. Specializing in brand and message strategies in crowded markets, she has helped thousands of talented people outsmart their competition since 1987.