Have you been hooked by Harry Potter? Has J.K. Rowling with what seems like simple story telling reeled you into the world she has created where half giants, Centaurs, wizards and witches all freely exist? I did not think it would happen to me. After all, while I enjoyed usually the first go around with the Potter movies they were nothing to write home about. You know. Nothing I would pay Hedwig to carry a note off to one of my besties.
I was recently at a meeting of MPI and we were talking about Orlando, FL and the Harry Potter Theme park and eventually those books. I said “they just don’t draw me in, I don’t see what the fascination is”. My niece had the first book in the series and she happens to be a little young for it so hasn’t been enthralled yet. I was reading the first couple pages and then I read a couple more. Even though I had seen the movie I somehow was sucked in to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. And as you can tell I was eating my words as I fell down the rabbit’s hole!
I finished it in a couple days by downloading it on my Android phone and before you can say Professor Quirell I had downloaded Chamber of Secrets and was off to the races.
So as this is a blog about education, social media and business I want to relate what I have learned so far from the Harry Potter books.
1. Create enjoyable mystery.
Many business models use this and you can too. Do not over describe your product but describe it just enough that people are intrigued to know more. Apple’s iPhone and Toyota’s Hybrid Prius are two good examples of mysteries that suck people in. When conducting an educational meeting use the tool of mystery to keep people engaged. When your mind is searching for an answer you will listen. Ask questions and engage your audience!
2. Create characters.
From Mr. Dursley to Ron Weasley and from Professor Snape to Headmaster Dumbledore characters are what drive your interest. They are what make you feel comfortable rooting for or against. In your meeting create characters. Be the woman in red. Be the Social Media Geek. Be a character and let people love or hate you. It is better than not being interesting and not being noticed at all. (There are some exceptions for example don’t be the person who doesn’t use deodorant)
3. Evil changes form all the time
I have also just finished “Dale Carnegies’ “How to Win Friends and Influence People” so a little of that amazing book has seeped in to this third lesson. In our every day interactions evil can be coming at us from every direction. We must seek the best in all people and that starts with who we look at in the mirror every morning. If we conquer the negativity in ourselves (fear, jealousy, anger, etc.) it will be easier to see past it in other people. If we remain alert to evil’s possible various forms within us we will surely be better prepared to see evil and put a sword through its jugular like Harry and the Basilisk.