In the Best Interests

Weiss Advice Issue: 233,  December 2022

Coming off these elections in the US we’ll find, inevitably, that elected members of both parties will not be true to all their promises. They’ll blame it on the opposition erecting obstacles or to the inability to get funding, or to the more important issues of tracking UFOs.

The sad truth is, since the beginnings of elections in caves to see who determined who sat closest to the fire, people have done whatever they can to get elected, not necessarily to serve well. James Freeman Clark, a theologian and author, observed in the late 19th Century that “Statesmen think of the next generation while politicians think of the next election.”

And here’s what happens when you radicalize and marginalize yourself:

“Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was among the least effective members of the last Congress according to a new survey from the nonpartisan Center for Effective Lawmaking—a joint project of Vanderbilt University and the University of Virginia. AOC introduced a total of 21 bills which the center defined as “substantive”—but that is where the story ends. Her legislation received no action in committees, no floor votes, and none ever became law, according to the center, which takes its data from” —reported in the New York Post

Why am I telling you this? Because organizations are political entities (“relating to the affairs of a particular group”). Some people will do whatever it takes to get the promotion, raise, corner office, and/or attractive assignment. Once there, they may find themselves unable to do anything positive for the organization or the customers.

And some people are so bereft of hope that they speak our radically and strongly against leadership, the strategy, and/or the service. Even when they’re correct, they’re isolated and unable to muster support.

Some outstanding political figures have been able to get things done through compromise, sacrifice, and a willingness to listen and laugh. They see serving their constituency as their own path to glory.

That’s why you hear me advise, when you’re uncertain about a client dynamic, ask
yourself, “What’s in the best interests of my client?” And your client should be asking, “What’s in the best interests of our customers?”

That’s not political, that’s profound.

© Alan Weiss 2022

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