5 Things in the Presidential Race that you can Learn from
We are in the midst of the 2016 Presidential Primary process and the field has been whittled down to a much smaller group than the one we started with. The great thing about being in America is that anyone can be successful if you work hard and pay attention to what is going on around you. It makes me smile to see the diversity of candidates in the field, especially on the GOP side.
It is not often that there is something you can learn from the Presidential Primary process that I believe you can apply to your business. This year is an exception and I have 5 things I have noticed that you might learn from in working with your own business. Let me know if you agree or disagree with my insight:
- There is a great deal of dissatisfaction with the status quo in our country. This lack of satisfaction is fueling two candidates in particular, Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. Your clients can also experience dissatisfaction and knowing how your clients feel about your work is of great value. The simplest and most powerful thing you can learn from this is to stay in touch with your clients and never assume you know how they are feeling. The Democrats and Republicans are learning a great deal, most of it painfully, in seeing the strength shown by Mr. Sanders and Mr. Trump.
- Ideas are great, but you need to have a good elevator pitch to catch someone's attention. The challenging thing with political messages today is that sound bytes usually rule the day. Some of the best candidates are not as successful as they might be (John Kasich) because their pitch is not as sharp or to point as those by the more popular candidates. The learning point here is that you need to have a good pitch before you can get down to the "meat and potatoes". Without that pitch, you will never get to the next step.
- Diversity is important, never more so than now. While I watched the GOP debate last evening it was interesting to see that 3 of the five final candidates were not your typical white male, euro candidate that the GOP was always famous for. Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Ben Carson have broken the mold for conservative candidates and the political process has only grown stronger by the broadening of the base in both parties. This tells me that I need to continue to broaden the client base I appeal to and that I also need to have a staff that represents that client base. People make assumptions when they see and hear you. Do your best to represent and connect to those you wish to serve.
- The devil is in the details. While much of the discussion in this year's campaign may be rhetoric, doing your homework has proven valuable for many of the candidates. History, your own and that of your competitors, is always good to know. Be sure to know what others may ask about you and your firm and do your best to anticipate not only your next move, but also the next move of those in your field. Pay attention!
- Never take yourself too seriously. It is good to see candidates spar with one another, but it is also refreshing to see when they can be self deprecating in their approach to their own failings. Good leaders have a strong sense of humility and never be afraid to reveal how you have learned from your own failings. My clients have appreciated when we know how we have failed because failure is a great teacher. In order to learn from failure, you must first acknowledge that the failure has occurred. This will take a measure of emotional intelligence and maturity.
So there you have it; 5 key thoguths that you can use to help grow your own presence and learn from this year's presidential primary process.
One last thing to remember is that you must vote to make the democracy work. Even if you are not completely locked in on one candidate versus another, make your best choice and exercise the right that so many have paid the price to provide you with.
This is the beauty of America.