Shock and awe: Overwhelm the enemy. How do we do it in everyday life? By hustling. Be better, stronger, better dressed, more prepared, faster, even more subtle. Do whatever it takes to be awesome. Put in the long hours required to prepare for whatever the task at hand is. Squeeze every last idea out of you writing; do research; pump out that extra effort from our weight-lifting routine; buy the better clothes that others are unwilling to buy. Whatever it takes.
From the original 1996 text “Shock and Awe, Achieving Rapid Dominance” by Harlan K. Ullman and James P. Wade:
“The key objective of Rapid Dominance is to impose this overwhelming level of Shock and Awe against an adversary on an immediate or sufficiently timely basis to paralyze its will to carry on. In crude terms, Rapid Dominance would seize control of the environment and paralyze or so overload an adversary’s perceptions and understanding of events that the enemy would be incapable of resistance at tactical and strategic levels. An adversary would be rendered totally impotent and vulnerable to our actions.”
Shock and Awe by Being More Thorough
In the world of blogging we have many myths about how to get more page views. One of them is that people want information fast and easily digestible. Bloggers who post a quick one-paragraph post believe that brevity is in their favor. They don’t want to waste their readers’ time. But it has been shown time and again, by the best industry, that an in-depth article full of details gets exponentially more views and gets shared more often than brief articles. This is because people appreciate the content. Quality must be there, of course. You can’t just make a long article full of fluff. Which brings me to my next point:
Shock and Awe by Being More Connected
Connect with your audience. We are all here to prosper and to make money, but as John Donne famously said, no man is an island. Those who focus solely on profits and self-advantage end up alone and don’t get very far. While keeping self-interest in mind, it is important to truly care for the well being of other. The well being of relatives, friends, customers and audiences. Sometimes I connect people when there is no possible advantage that I could get from doing so. Why would I connect a friend of mine, for example, to a dentist that I don’t do business with but that I know that has a great reputation? Because my friend and the dentist will be better off if their client/patient relationship works. Period. I’m not asking for a commission from the dentist, or from a later good referral later on from my friend. The better off that your network of people is, the better off that you are. Connect and care!
Shock and Awe By Being Better Prepared
One of Malcolm Gladwell’s most famous conclusions is that it tales 10,000 hours to be better at something. I might argue that. I might not believe that it takes exactly 10,000 hours. I personally believe that talent and natural ability have to do with success as much as tremendous practice. But it is undeniable that excellence is achieved through practice and effort, regardless of innate qualities that make us prone to be better at something.If anything, innate talent helps us weed out the activities that we should not focus on, simply because we are not good at them. The focus must be in the activities for which we show promise and that we like. Practice, practice, practice. Be better than the million other aspiring writers, actors, singers or entrepreneurs.
Shock and Awe by Looking Awesome
Look better than the rest. take the time to work out and to dress better. Iron that shirt. Wear the better trousers. Most people in pour culture think that being casual is perfectly normal in business and in relationships. But it is still true that we are highly impressed by those that take the time and effort to look their best. This might include better accessories, better-fitting clothes, or even smoother skin. I’m not advocating plastic surgery or spending great sums in designer brands. Not at all. The effort should be made to look one’s best within our budget, within our possibilities.
Shock and Awe by Knowing How to Treat People
It is imperative that we finesse the art of dealing with people and learning what to say under any circumstances. I once read an article about how George Clooney once welcomed in his house a reporter tha he didn’t previously knew, and humbly invited him to eat from the barbecue that he was cooking. The reporter was so impressed that he glossed about Clooney’s charisma and friendliness in his article. George Clooney is an award-winning, extremely famous, rich and (considered by many) handsome individual. Yet he did not treat a simple reporter like a service person. He treated him like a person, one-on-one. Now that is the stuff of legend, not the money or the fame.
Once we have all the above elements together, we can cause an earth-shattering impression in business and in relationships. Shock and Awe is my new philosophy. I’m making an effort to apply it in everything I do.