How to Win Hearts and Minds on Energy, Part 2: From Energy Advocate to Energy Champion

Last week I discussed how an energy supporter becomes an energy advocate. Recall:

Energy Supporter: An individual who is generally in favor of the most important sources of energy abundance, including fossil fuels, but lacks the motivation and/or capability to persuade others in favor of energy abundance.

Energy Advocate: An individual with the clarity, confidence, and motivation to persuade others in favor of energy abundance.

This week I will discuss how an energy advocate can become an energy champion.
Energy Champion: An individual with a high level of clarity, confidence, and motivation who reaches dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of others.

A champion is distinguished from an advocate in three ways: an enhanced level of clarity, feeling comfortable with the full gamut of issues; a strategic approach to persuasion; and, as a result of the first two, greater motivation.
1) Clarity

Anyone who has ever talked with me about persuasion knows that I am a broken record on the subject of clarity. If you have enough clarity, including moral clarity, you will almost inevitably become an effective communicator—because so much of communication is sharing with others how you came to your understanding of an issue. The clearer your understanding, the more effective you will be. And more motivated. I am often asked where I get the courage to take people on, whether in debates or at rallies of tens of thousands of people. My answer is: I don’t experience it as courage. I am so clear on what is right and why that when I see something wrong I am automatically motivated to do something, and I have the confidence that I can handle whatever comes my way.

Last week I mentioned The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels as our most important resource for clarity. After that I’d recommend Power Hour, my podcast. That is over 100 hours of diving deep into every energy and environmental issue, combining philosophical analysis with lots of fascinating facts. I’ve been told by many people that Power Hour made them much more effective at communicating with others.

2) Strategy

heartsandminds.mcffA champion passionately wants to win others to his or her cause. An indispensable aspect of this is being strategic with our limited time and resources—especially for those of you who don’t advocate energy full time.

Here, the basic question is: how do I get the most results for my effort?

This is a crucial question because if we don’t ask it we will be reactive. Ask yourself: how much of my time fighting for my ideas has been in the form of endless arguments in person and on Facebook with people who are unlikely to be persuaded—just because they set me off with some comment?

What if, instead, you just told people: “I recently read a really interesting [article/book/whatever] on [topics] and I found it very convincing. Let me know what you think?” If someone respects you they will check it out—and the resource you refer them to will be highly effective if it’s good.

A great example of a strategic champion of energy is my friend Chad Morris. Chad’s particular focus is on identifying and reaching thought-leaders—a category of person we will discuss next week.

Many months ago, when I offered to send a free book to any thought leader any reader of this newsletter could put me in touch with, Chad probably generated more leads than everyone else combined. It didn’t take much time—he just had to email people personally to see if they were interested—but it did take strategy and proactivity.

Here’s one example of his influence. Recently I attended an event for entrepreneurs called Genius Network, where some of the world’s leading entrepreneurs, marketers, and communicators gather. At the event of 300 or so people, probably a dozen approached me directly and told me how much they liked The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels. Several dozen more expressed a lot of interest (I offered them all copies, of course).

Why are top entrepreneurs reading this book?

Because months ago, Chad send copies of the book to Joe Polish, the creator of Genius Network, and Dan Sullivan, the world’s leading entrepreneurial coach. Sullivan, a passionate free-market thinker, gave the book to his 600 top clients and Joe recommended it to his network. They did a podcast with me. Then, at the event, Sullivan went out of his way to recommend my book. Because he is a top, if not the top, thought-leader in the entrepreneurial community, Sullivan generated a lot of additional interest. I was able to have discussions about the book and its concepts with several other top business minds, including Dean Jackson, one of the world’s leading marketers and cohost, with Joe Polish, of the extremely popular I Love Marketing podcast. And on this week’s podcast, Dean Jackson led off mentioning how interesting our conversation about the moral case for fossil fuels was.

Would this have happened without Chad Morris? I don’t know, and I don’t want to know. The point is, one person took strategic action and it paid off. Or rather, he took many strategic actions and some of them paid off—but the payoff of one successful strategic action can be thousands-fold.

What kinds of strategic actions can you take to promote energy abundance? Send me your ideas.

Companies, I always have the same two recommendations. Recommend The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels to any thought-leaders you know—and give it to your employees. I guarantee you will see results.

3) Motivation

The term “champion” connotes motivation. And motivation is a big part of being a champion. But in my experience being a champion comes from being clear and strategic. That way you know exactly why you’re right and you will be motivated by your strategic successes.

An example of this is Ben Nelson from Nebraska.

Ben is an avid listener of Power Hour, which gave him the clarity and motivation to try to effect change. He started going to local hearings over energy issues and challenging the previously unchallenged Sierra Club. He would wear his I Love Fossil Fuels t-shirts at events around the country. Recently, he got Senator Ted Cruz to comment on the I Love Fossil Fuels t-shirt, likely exposing hundreds of thousands to that shirt and its confident support of our leading energy source.

Again, the clearer you are, the more strategic you are, the more motivated you will be.

This newsletter will be a regular source of ideas for how you can become an energy champion. Please share any ideas you have.

Next week we’ll discuss the transition between energy champion and energy thought-leader.

Thought leader: An individual or institution with a high level of clarity, confidence, and motivation, and distinctiveness who reaches thousands or millions of others.

This isn’t a transition most people will want to make, for good reasons (in most cases energy would need to be your full-time job) but it’s important for everyone to understand what a thought-leader is and what kind of reach they have. As Chad Morris showed, that understanding can lead to incredible results for a champion. Let me know what you think of this series so far.

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