Who voted for you?
Today is President's Day. Smack dab in the middle of the campaign season leading up to election day, November 8, 2016, if you are like me, the days between now and then are painful. Painfully slow. Painful to watch. Painful to listen to the gaggle of candidates campaign for our votes. This election cycle, perhaps more than ever before, it is so easy for me to look at them and criticize and find fault; with their platform, their flip-flops, their promises... not to mention their hair. It is so easy to judge, and let's be honest here, it is also wickedly fun and self-satisfying...to make fun of them. So easy in fact that it's easy to forget that I am always in the midst of my own campaign season. We all are.
Our platform is our declaration of who we are and what we stand for. It is the basis from which we operate. It is where the rubber meets our road. Our platform connects who we are with what we do and how we do it. Votes are earned when our words are seen in action, reflecting who we are and what we care about.
Flip-flopping has unfairly earned a bad name. It all depends on a flip of that coin. HEADS: We adjust our stance because we've learned something new, seen the issue in a different light, stood in someone else's shoes, realized we only had part of the information. This side of the coin says we are open to new ideas, willing to stay in the conversation, able to acknowledge our mistakes. This side of the coin earns the best kind of vote. TAILS: We change our position to be accepted, to win more votes, to lose as little as possible, to look good, to avoid taking a courageous stand for what we believe, to play it safe. But playing this side of the coin is a dangerous game, as it might earn us a vote in the short term, but only at the steep price of lost trust over the long haul.
These are the things we put our good name behind should we earn your vote. This is what we've committed to. These are our marching orders once elected. This is what you can count on us for. A campaign promise kept is a deposit in our trust account, a down-payment for a future project, a security deposit against possible damage. A promise kept earns a future vote. A broken promise loses the vote we have.
Over the years many people have cast their vote for me, and a lot more will before it's all over. When people choose us they are casting their vote, checking the box with our name next to it. They choose us as a friend, a life partner, a team leader, a trusted colleague, a keynote speaker, a painter, doctor. They choose to read our book, eat at our restaurant, watch our movie, buy our artwork. They make a choice to listen to our perspective, share their fears with us, expose their weaknesses and allow us to see their dreams-still-in-the-making. They vote for us based on our campaign.
What is your platform?
Which side of the coin are you playing?
What have you promised?