. . . Win One

Easter Egg Madness

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These letters were published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on March 31, 1999.

To the Editor: Lose One . . .

When I open a new professional directory, where I frequently

have information about my company, I recall times when I opened report

cards in earlier years. The same anxiety returns. Report cards typically

were very good and until now headings and listings have been accurate.

When I opened your new U.S. I Directory, published a few weeks ago,

I was startled to find that after something like 10 years, I was no

longer listed.

True, I had moved after 10 years from the Carnegie Center, but l am

positive that I faxed back my form — and early at that. But mistakes

happen, and following my follow-up phone call I discovered that U.S.

1 had put me in a "dead file."

I’m writing to let you know that Aurora Marketing is alive and well,

and will miss being in your directory. I recall many opportunities

that were brokered through your newspaper and directory. My company

specializes in call center research and training in healthcare, financial

services, and industrial manufacturing. One request a few years back

was from the executive director of the development office for the

Welsh government; he had found my company in your directory and wanted

a small, Princeton based firm, familiar with business development

in healthcare and in telephone marketing. That was us! We had a renewed

contract with this group for the next four years.

A few months ago I needed a graphics designer for a survey project

for physicians that Aurora Marketing was conducting with a start-up

medical software company in Virginia. I opened the U.S. 1 Directory

and found Vince Golden of Golden Associates, just up the road. Vince

and I have been working together ever since.

As we head toward the millennium I’ll hope to have many more business

leads and partners found through your terrific publications. Next

time, please be sure that Aurora is included. Thanks.

Doreen V. Blanc Ph.D.

Here is the missing data:

Aurora Marketing Inc., 66 Witherspoon Street

(Suite 600), Princeton 08542. Phone 609-520-8863 or 908-904-1125;

fax, 908-359-1108. E-mail: Aurora212@cwix.com.

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. . . Win One

Many thanks for the article on the Ridge Group and the

Association of Internet Professionals (March 3). I’ve heard from friends.

I’ve received business inquiries. And when I called up someone to

network on behalf of AIP (thanks to the article you directed me to

on your site), he already knew who I was. You can’t ask for more.

Josephine K. Ottman

The Ridge Group

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Easter Egg Madness

The time is almost upon us when many of our children

will be into the field, running and dashing and scrambling for brightly

colored and well hidden Easter eggs. A lucky few may manage to grab

some of the treasures while the majority of children in an Easter

egg hunt will go home with empty baskets.

Easter egg hunts, like many other endeavors in American life, are

grounded on the idea that competition is good and also fun. It’s hard

for me to think of anything that is fun that requires my winning to

be of someone else’s loss. That is the heart of competition. It is

a zero sum game. In order for a child to be successful in an egg hunt,

they have to get more eggs than another child. It is similar to costume

parties, as I can think of no other way to spoil a costume party for

five-year-olds than to give one child a present for best costume.

Contrary to what we have been taught, psychological research shows

that competition is not natural and that cooperation motivates us

to do our best, not competition. In fact, schools and work sites often

produce inferior products because they value competition rather than

excellence.

Instead of turning an egg hunt into a battlefield where there are

winners and losers, how about a system where everybody wins. Competition

creates artificial scarcity. It gives the idea that somehow there

is not enough of something. In reality there are plenty of eggs, enough

eggs for all the children in America.

If you want to see your children enjoying Easter egg hunts, try what

I have done at my home; I assign each child a specific color or combination

of colors that corresponds to the eggs that he or she will look for.

You can do it by individual child or by family groupings. Tell the

child how many of those eggs are hidden in the field, such as six,

seven, eight, or nine. I write it on a note with a matching color

that I put in their baskets. Each child then goes out to the field

and searches for his or her eggs. They all appear to have fun, and

all the children win because they all get eggs. Another interesting

thing that happens is they all start helping each other find each

other’s eggs, cooperation occurs naturally.

Our schools and institutions need a restructuring, as any win/lose

arrangement is undesirable. When children will walk away with empty

baskets and feel like they’re the losers, egg hunts become similar

to the battlefield, where in order for someone to win, someone has

to lose. So much more is possible in our schools and work settings

if instead of competition we value and foster cooperation.

Ronald J. Coughlin Ed.D.

3576 Quakerbridge Road


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