The Power of Information

My wife and I met in high school.  We’ve been a couple for close to twenty years now. We have had this conversation more than once:

Val: “Hey did you get me _____ at the store?” (Fill in the blank with any item, usually a gallon of iced tea)

Me: “I didn’t know we needed it. Why didn’t you tell me?”

Val: “I thought you knew.”

At this point I remind her that I’m a guy, we are not psychic and we need to be told things. This is true. She knows what we need at all times and I do my best to follow. How many of your moments in the past week were spent in interactions where one party needed more information? Where it was assumed that someone knew something they didn’t? Whether in business, church, or life this is a consistent reality.  We live in an information saturated age. People are searching to have needs met and those providing the answer will be accessed.  As business owners, we need to be in touch with this fact. Where are you positioned in the market? In the community? Are you a knowledge base, an expert?

Information is also power.

I have had that exact conversation at work numerous times. Did you get the memo? Yes I did. I’ll make sure you get another copy. Office Space is one of my favorite movies and it uses satire to make great points. Ever work with a boss, or coworker, totally disconnected? Where they don’t listen to what you say or even seem to care? That short conversation is a power exchange. Lumbergh has the authority, tells Peter about the memo, ignores his answer, and moves on. Basic life in the corporate world.

Yesterday I spoke on the phone with the assistant director of Berks County Women in Crisis.  It is an organization devoted to helping women, and sometimes men, who are victims of abuse from partners and loved ones. We spoke about the services they offer and the experience of moving through their program and one statement stuck in my mind.  She said that their biggest asset is information.  If only the community knew what the did and how they could be contacted.  If only more schools and businesses could be educated in how to identify signs of abuse.  If only more commercials and fliers were available to distribute.  They have no funding for marketing and this is a major handicap.

My hope is that the publication of Overcome will help to get the word out and spread the information they desire.  If one person reads the book and decides to go and get free from an abuse relationship, I’ll be happy.


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