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Thursday, September 04, 2008

Do You Have a Position?

Marketing guru Seth Godin said, "If you can't describe your position in eight words or less, you don't have a position."

What's your position in eight words or less?

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posted by Citizen Warrior at permanent link#

37 Comments:

Blogger Citizen Warrior said...

This is an excerpt from an email I get. Here's the whole message:

100 WAYS TO SUCCEED #28:
REMARKABLE POINT OF VIEW/R.POV8!

I suppose I've said this before, but I'm willing to suffer the charge of repetition. I've just finished seminars with 500 law partners, then a couple of hundred investment bankers. The people I addressed are what I call "scary smart." And they've missed some kids' soccer games...that is, 12-hour days are the norm. But "talent" and outrageously hard work are not enough! Why? Because there are a lot of talented people around who work long days.

So what's the secret-differentiator? Marketing guru Seth Godin said, "If you can't describe your position in eight words or less, you don't have a position." I choose to interpret this not as a "marketing tip," but as a profound statement. I spent my two seminars hammering on "Remarkable Point Of View"...or R.POV. Or, stealing from Seth, R.POV8...a Remarkable Point Of View...captured in 8 words or less.

Seth, however, must make room for Jerry Garcia: "You do not merely want to be the best of the best. You want to be considered the only ones who do what you do." And for founder Tom Chappell, of Tom's of Maine: "Success means never letting the competition define you. Instead, you have to define yourself based on a point of view you care deeply about."

The problem: Developing, maintaining, and refreshing a R.POV is excruciatingly difficult. I'll leave that to later; right now my point is simply to insist that smarts and hard work, even effective hard work, is not enough. The query that must never be far from your consciousness: IS WHAT I'M UP TO REMARKABLY DIFFERENT, AND CAN IT BE CAPTURED IN SIMPLE, COMPELLING LANGUAGE?

What we're talking about here may explain in part John Kerry's loss. A few weeks before the election, a Washington Post analyst, Kenneth Baer, penned: "To win this race, Kerry needs to stop focusing on Election Day and start thinking about his would-be presidency's last day. What does he want his legacy to be? When sixth-graders in the year 2108 read about the Kerry presidency, what does he want the one or two sentences that accompany his photo to say?"

Presumably those two sentences would have maxed out at eight words!

Thursday, September 04, 2008 5:53:00 pm  
Blogger Citizen Warrior said...

I figured since we're speaking to people and writing to people, it would enhance our effectiveness if we were able to say our position in eight words or less.

Lots of communication coaches have said something similar. The effort to get your message down to such a small statement clarifies your thoughts so well that it makes you a better, more focused, more articulate speaker. I'm going to try it and I invite all of us to try it. (And post it here.)

Thursday, September 04, 2008 5:55:00 pm  
Blogger Pastorius said...

I have two positions:

We're created in the image of God; free.

Sharia is Sedition.

Thursday, September 04, 2008 6:07:00 pm  
Blogger Citizen Warrior said...

I've just been doing the exercise, trying to come up with my position in eight words or less.

It's harder than it sounds. Eight words? That's not a lot to work with.

At first I was trying to define my mission, and then I realized this is a position, not a mission. What is my position? I got it down to this:

Freedom is protected by exposing the Islamic memeplex.

Thursday, September 04, 2008 6:11:00 pm  
Blogger Citizen Warrior said...

Sharia is sedition.

THAT'S REALLY GOOD.

Thursday, September 04, 2008 6:12:00 pm  
Blogger Citizen Warrior said...

Pastorius, your experience doing a radio show probably has helped you condense your position down into a clear statement. Three words!

I realized after I had come up with "Freedom is protected by exposing the Islamic memeplex" that the statement itself would open up a discussion really well. It lends itself to curiosity and argument. R.POV8 is a good tool to have.

Thursday, September 04, 2008 6:16:00 pm  
Blogger Pastorius said...

C-Dub,
I've worked in media and advertising all my adult life. So, that has helped me be conscious of the fact that, if you want to drill a message into people's brains, you need to keep it short and sweet and say it over and over.

It's called "Branding."

:)

Thursday, September 04, 2008 6:41:00 pm  
Blogger Pastorius said...

By the way, I love the phrase "Islamic memeplex". I think it does make people curious.

It might be better to scare people by saying "The Islamic Memeplex destroys Freedom on contact."

The phrase "Islamic Memeplex" gives me an image of a creature rising from the depths of the ocean to kill. Like a giant squid or octopus.

LOL

Thursday, September 04, 2008 6:43:00 pm  
Blogger Citizen Warrior said...

That's pretty good!

The Islamic Memeplex destroys Freedom on contact.

Thursday, September 04, 2008 7:08:00 pm  
Blogger Epaminondas said...

8 words....
no sorry, 11

"we are in a war against Islamic extremism, that war is worldwide"

Thursday, September 04, 2008 7:09:00 pm  
Blogger Pastorius said...

Epa,
Your phraseology oftimes has a bit of Yoda in it.

:)

Thursday, September 04, 2008 7:15:00 pm  
Blogger Epaminondas said...

Cut down from today's Yoda...
John McCain..
"I think we are in a war against Islamic extremism, and I think that war is worldwide"

Thursday, September 04, 2008 8:09:00 pm  
Blogger Pastorius said...

I see. There is something Yodaesque about McCain. Maybe it's just that he's ancient.

:)

Thursday, September 04, 2008 8:46:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Constitutional liberties and American justice aren't bargaining chips.

Thursday, September 04, 2008 9:45:00 pm  
Blogger Pastorius said...

That's a very good one.

I like that.

Thursday, September 04, 2008 9:51:00 pm  
Blogger Citizen Warrior said...

This has got my mind working. I can see the value of having something trimmed down to the bare core. I've come up with another one.

We risk our freedoms giving concessions to Islam.

Thursday, September 04, 2008 10:16:00 pm  
Blogger SamenoKami said...

1)The only good jihadist is a dead jihadist.
(Can I say that?)

2)Jews MUST have a nation of their own.

(No-charge Epa.)

Friday, September 05, 2008 1:50:00 am  
Blogger SamenoKami said...

Of course, Godin took more than 8 words to state his position that your position must have only 8 wds.

Friday, September 05, 2008 1:52:00 am  
Blogger Always On Watch said...

I've been told that my mission is "Stop the whitewash of Islam."

That certainly is the main theme of my web site.

My so-called motto also means something to those who understand the Islamic threat: "Go ye forth and collect fatwas." The meaning? Stop appeasement of those sworn to our destruction.

Friday, September 05, 2008 4:29:00 am  
Blogger Citizen Warrior said...

I like those.

"Stop appeasement of those sworn to our destruction."

That's exactly eight words, and to the point.

Friday, September 05, 2008 5:26:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

30 words:

«The Muslim´s claim that Allah is the God of the Bible and that Islam arose from the religion of the prophets and apostles is refuted by solid, overwhelming archeological evidence.»


http://www.biblebelievers.org.au/moongod.htm

Friday, September 05, 2008 7:23:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Abraham's DNA won't be discovered in Muhammads tribe.

or

Islam is a lie, Muhammad made it up.

Friday, September 05, 2008 11:36:00 am  
Blogger Pastorius said...

SamenoKami said...
Of course, Godin took more than 8 words to state his position that your position must have only 8 wds.


Ain't said in eight words? It means nothing.

Friday, September 05, 2008 12:47:00 pm  
Blogger Pastorius said...

AOW,
I love

Go ye forth and collect fatwas.

Very good.

Of course, I've taken that one up as my own, also.

:)

Friday, September 05, 2008 12:50:00 pm  
Blogger Pastorius said...

Anonymous said...
Abraham's DNA won't be discovered in Muhammads tribe.

or

Islam is a lie, Muhammad made it up.


I say: Excellent!

Friday, September 05, 2008 12:50:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Islam is not abramanic faith. Mo scammed.

Friday, September 05, 2008 2:56:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Islam is not abrahamic faith. Mo scammed.

Friday, September 05, 2008 3:13:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alqaeda get a real job - their wives should make them clean the floor.

Friday, September 05, 2008 3:46:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alqaeda - May your wives make you wash the floor! Inshallah!

Friday, September 05, 2008 3:47:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alqaeda should get a real job - their wives should make them clean the floor.

Friday, September 05, 2008 3:49:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

MESSAGE!

Mind Virus Detected! As the dominant species on the infected planet, the burden of localization and disinfection falls squarely on your shoulders. Good Luck!

All extra-solar travel is hereby suspended until the memetic threat to the wider galactic community is verifiably eliminated.


END MESSAGE

Saturday, September 06, 2008 2:36:00 am  
Blogger Citizen Warrior said...

Al Qaeda should get a real job. I like that one.

Jihadis should get a real job.

Saturday, September 06, 2008 5:06:00 pm  
Blogger Pastorius said...

That one is excellent.

It combines suggestion with insult. Insult works against the Jihad, because it causes Jihadists to become angry, and when they are angry, they show their true colors.

Saturday, September 06, 2008 5:37:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks.

Saturday, September 06, 2008 10:46:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jihadists look for a date in the hereafter.

Sunday, September 07, 2008 5:42:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sharia is hate.

Sunday, September 07, 2008 5:44:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mo´s paradise is a brothel.

Sunday, September 07, 2008 6:12:00 am  

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