By Michael Gunther
As we enter another election year, it feels like elections occur back to back. I understand how the election cycle is now a major revenue generator for media outlets, campaign staff, commentators, etc.; yet it seems that the campaigning strategies are becoming more outrageous in order to rally ‘the core’ constituents and obtain higher ratings and media exposure.
As political conversations have become so challenging, I started to think about leaders in the workplace. In a work environment, none of these politicians would survive and yet, we are electing these individuals to lead our country and us. This got me thinking – should we expect all politicians from all parties to operate more like you are expected to within a work environment?
- Strong leaders value diversity of thought, backgrounds, experiences, genders, etc. One could never exclude or demonize an individual based on race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, to name a few.
- Individuals with opposing views wouldn’t be allowed to just make up facts, create stories that are not based on reality and tear down one another just to win the argument.
- It is illegal for vendors to bribe individuals within organizations to persuade people to purchase a product or service and yet, we let individuals bribe our politicians with unlimited contributions.
- A leader wouldn’t survive in the workplace if they were not willing to work with others within the organization to solve problems.
- The leaders of the organization wouldn’t be allowed to provide an amazing retirement and benefits plan to themselves and then, in turn, offer nothing to their employees.
- A business wouldn’t survive if there were never any compromises on how to approach new solutions and generate new opportunities.
Maybe it is about changing the method and style of conversation from our politicians. Are the conversations authentic? Is transparency present? Is the conversation purposeful? Is it based on trying to solve an issue or just rally the troops? Is the conversation impactful? Will it actually move the solution forward or just create more clutter or distraction?
If a business ran the same way we allow our politicians to, those businesses would truly struggle to become sustainable. These businesses would be faced with lawsuits, turnover, lost market share and blasted on social media. Yet, we allow our politicians to run rampant.
As business leaders, we should expect more from our politicians, not just support them because they have our same beliefs. I believe we should support them because they can bring people together with many beliefs and create collaborative conversations that get results. I think our nation, our businesses would be better for it.