Educate or Win?

Educate or Win?

These two concepts seem to get confused in today’s modern world of Information. I’m all about Educating, and come from a family of Educators with a mother who has a Ph.D in Adult Education, so I am all about Education – but recently I attended a meeting of a certain political party (if you follow me on other sites you will see where I lean but for this article we will keep it generic). And they were asking how they could get younger people to attend their meetings. They kept saying that if they could get them to the meetings and then educate them they would see the light. This reminded me of Albert Einstein’s quote:

“The definition of insanity is doing something over and over again and expecting a different result.” – Albert Einstein

That is what this particular group has continued to do. I had to say something and stated that if young people came to that meeting they would not come back. You need to meet them where they are and make the message about them or at least as it relates to them. One of the leaders of the group stated that if he could just get his nieces and nephews to get off their phone so he could talk to them… and I rebutted and said you are missing the point. You have to be where they are, on the smart phone or tablet, to get your message across. Oh and it has to be FUN, not stuffy or boring. This didn’t seem to go over well but afterwards several people came up to me and said they wanted me to continue to come back, they liked what I said and I even got invited to another political party meeting.

I made the statement at that time “You can either Educate or You Can Win – You can’t do both!” After making that statement I started really thinking about it and how it relates to both political messages and ideology and to business in general. I see a lot of people and businesses, including my company, trying to educate but not shooting to win. I see other companies that shoot to win.

So before I lose you I do believe you can do both but you must first win before you can educate or to put it another way; you need to get their attention first before they will listen. This is a concept called “Persuasion”. No one listens unless they know the WIFM (What’s In It For Me) or in this case What’s In It For Them. And if you are going after the younger crowd you need to get their attention in 140 characters or less.

So in the case of Educating or Winning there are two distinct strategies:

  1. When Educating you give them information that is historical, fact based, logical and hope that will lead them to a conclusion to move in the direction you are trying to get them to go.
  2. When trying to Win you give them simple concepts that they can use right away and also show them how it affects their lives in the present and make it rewarding and FUN!

The above is definitely a simplification of the two strategies and I will elaborate in tomorrow’s blog on the “Strategy of Winning”.

“You were born to win, but to be a winner, you must plan to win, and expect to win.” – Zig Ziglar

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Les Adkins CEO and Founder Orange SMS, Serial Entrepreneur, Adventurer, and co-founder APocket (coming to your mobile device soon)  #LikeAPocketonFB #ChangeTheWorld

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