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Teach how to fish, sell a boat, and build a harbor

By 03/01/20126 Comments

Lately, I teach a lot of teams on how to integrate digital media better into their marketing and communication mix. And, lately I get a lot of people asking if it is a wise thing, making people better at skills that I could sell to them…
I remember a discussion just like that with my grandfather. He wanted me to understand it was way better to teach people to fish, than to give them a fish each day. This discussion came right after a long chat on why it was good to be entrepreneurial. Young, cocky and confused, I pointed my finger at the obvious flaw in his reasoning: surely, by teaching them to fish, you give away your knowledge, your unique selling proposition, your vision, your art, your wisdom? Once you teach them how to fish…. you’re done?
My grandfather just smiled, and bounced a pebble over the waves: “wrong”, he said: “Teach them how to fish…, only then will they understand the need to buy a boat.”


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