One of the businesses I manage is a consulting firm. We help entities grow through marketing and process improvement. Below is a case study of my most challenging client to date: me.
I always knew I would be a political leader, but I never wanted to be a politician. Knowing that I could not avoid being a politician, I decided to avoid being a life-long politician. I planned to have one or two careers before becoming politically active. I focused on solving complex problems and learning leadership skills. Over the last 20 years, I became an expert in projects where markets, energy, and technology meet. I started leading projects, then people, and then a company. Now I’m hoping to lead my home state of California.
In August of 2017, I was at dinner with the Chairman of the California Libertarian Party. By the end of the meal, he convinced me the time had come to start leading California. I went home, my wife agreed, and my campaign for California Lieutenant Governor started.
That week, between business meetings, I would doodle campaign slogans and logo ideas. I became fixated on the concept of choice. I wanted people to know they have more choices. While driving back from a lunch break, a street sign inspired me. I crafted a first version on a 3x5 card using a blue pen, a red pen, and a yellow highlighter.
That weekend, I built a digital version and immediately remembered that I’m not a graphic artist. I brought in my go-to graphic artist, Dan. At first, we were just playing with colors, detail, and dimensions. That is what you see in the left third of the image above. All were digital variations on that first logo I doodled.
They were getting better but it still didn’t seem right. I realized that I was doing the exact thing that frustrates Dan and I about some clients. I constrained the creative process. I came to the table with a narrow design instead of a concept. Leaders do not need to be the expert in the room, leaders attract and empower experts.
I asked Dan to go away for a week and come back with ideas that convey choice, liberty, and leadership. A few days later Dan returned with pages of doodles. Of those, I picked some of my favorite concepts and we created draft digital versions of those. You can see our efforts in the middle third of the image above.
We did some quick market testing with friends and family. The ribbon-spiral-arrow-thing was the clear winner. One friend deemed it the “Timnado.” At first, I resisted the name, but it has grown on me. Dan and I started iterations again - playing with colors, gradients, and proportions. We knew we found the right logo because instead of nothing seeming right, it all seemed right.
The end result perfectly captures the essence of Libertarian thought. There is a popular saying: “If you are young and not a liberal, you have no heart. If you are older and are not a conservative, you have no brain.” This logo expands on that. When solving the challenges facing humanity, we must start with compassion, then apply logic, and we must always end with the wisdom and philosophy of liberty.
I’ve done some improv and stand-up comedy. The thing everyone takes away from their first improv class is the concept of “yes, and.” A group of people create something greater than the individuals by working together and not caring who gets the credit or glory. That is what was missing in the original versions… those versions were divisive. There was an undercurrent of “you are with us or against us.”
I introduced this undercurrent by starting with a symbol intended to divide traffic into lanes. That is not the right message to send. I want to remind us that California works best when we work together. It is the combination of compassion, logic, and wisdom that gets us where we want to be.
The logo also points to the future. A future where we lead with liberty. Thinking about the future is important - it is what allows us to enact lasting solutions that deliver results that align with our intentions. Unintended consequences are often the result of programs enacted with good short-term intentions but a lack of principals to stand the test of time. We avoid such mistakes by tying solutions back to the core human rights of life, liberty, and property.
I’m proud of the Timnado, my campaign, and my team for working through having me as a client.
Thanks for your time. If any of this resonated with you, I could use some support spreading these concepts. Share, donate, and vote Libertarian. June 5th is the California open primary.
Leading with Liberty,
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