July 20, 2018

How Judge Sonia Sotomayer Mastered the Broken Record by Jeannette Paladino

Jeannette Paladino had a great post this past week on how Judge Sotomayer has mastered the “broken record” technique during her questioning this past week by the Senate Judicial Committee.

Jeanette makes some great points that we can all learn from in this post, so check it out here.  I agree that Sotomayer has kept her cool and played the game that needed to be played this past week..

Bill Maher Goes On A Rant About Obama

I am sure by now that everyone has heard about Bill Maher going on a rant last week about President Obama focusing too much on being a celebrity and not enough time on drawing the line on some of the toughest issues we have faced in the history of our nation.   Here is the rant.  I don’t really agree or disagree with his position, but he does make an interesting point to consider (which I have also thought about recently):

I want to add that the June issue of Harvard Business Review gave Obama the following “grades” in 3 domains:

Securing Early Wins:  A

Laying a Foundation: B+

Articulating a Vision:  B-

Now then, I like President Obama, and a B- is not a bad score, but Maher and HBR have a point.  The situation is this:  The President is saying that his vision is to develop our country into one that is economically sustainable, but in my opinion, I have not yet see him “draw the cutting line”, meaning, I have not yet really seen him take a tough stand to stay “Here is where we are going in the areas of the economy, healthcare and education, and we are going to do it like this:  Number 1, Number 2, Number 3”.   It is really hard to get people on board using rhetoric and charisma and big speeches when there’s really no meat on the bones.  I think the President has what it takes to drive people forward and move us in a great direction, but it seems like he is still trying to convince us that he’s great and “one of us”.  I think the election proved that we all want him in the position, and it’s time to start getting down and speaking the vision clearly and sharply so that we can all jump in and help get the nation where we need to go.  While I realize this takes time, as HBR says, that first 90 days is critical.  You have to clearly tell people where you are going and how you are going to get there (if you are told to get on a bus and you have no idea where you are going, would you really get on?  You might if you really know and trust the person, but I have never met the President…he seems great on television, but I have not met and sat down and talked with him, so I scratch my head and wonder if I would really get on a bus with him if I had no idea where we were going???)

What I want to hear from the President is this:

1) When you say have a vision for our country where sustained economic growth creates good jobs and rising incomes, how is this going to happen, and as a citizen of the USA, how can I get involved in helping to make this happen?  Tell me where I am going in this equation so that I can get on board and help you succeed.

2) When it comes to education, you are saying that you want our schools to excel.  What do you see in the year 2020, and as a citizen, how can I help get to that vision?  Do you see all schools going digital, do you see more interactivity/creativity in the classrooms?  Do you see more leadership development in the education system?  What do you see, and how can I help?

3)  You say you want a better quality of living for everyone in the US.  What does that look like?  What steps are you taking to get us?  Paint me the vision of that quality of life and tell me how I can help get us there?  Are you talking about a more green planet, better health, etc?  What does a better life for everyone look like?  Get specific with me, and then I will know how I can play a role here.

When it comes to vision, the following are required to get people on board

1) A statement that clearly (crystal clear…not vague) identifies the direction we are going and the reason why

2) A set of standards and an accountability system that reflects excellence and a strong sense of integrity for the cabinet and the people of the USA

3) A vision that is both inspiring and credible

4) A statement that asks for a commitment from the people…”I am asking each of you to commit to recycling this year or cutting your debt by 10%”

5) A statement that challenges people to take their talents, assets and strengths and combine them to make a bigger impact

6) A statement that is ambitious and feels like it’s a stretch but do-able (John F. Kennedy promised that there will be a Man on the Moon before the end of the 1960’s, and people thought he was crazy, but it did indeed happen, and he put the wheels in motion to make it happen)

So, I encourage you to weigh in on this blog post today.  What do you need to hear from President Obama, and what will it take to get you on board in the future?.

What will Clinton Do?

Yes, I know…every pundit, supporter and eager Clinton fan wants to know the answer to this question.

First of all, I concur with Corey’s post from June 6 on Senator Clinton carving her own path. Here, here! I also believe that there is a place for her in our political system. Senator Clinton is sharp, and the area where I believe she has the most passion and knowledge is on the topic of healthcare. While I am not convinced that an Obama/Clinton ticket is a wise move, I do believe that if elected, Senator Obama will be thinking about where and how Clinton can best serve our country. In my opinion, a position such as Secretary of Health would be a great fit (but of course, this is just according to the world of Bea.)

I have watched Clinton speak on a variety of debates and interviews and speeches over the last 16 months, but I have to say that watching her yesterday was a joy for me. I finally felt like I liked her. I don’t know why, but she seemed to be putting her energy and strength behind the democrats…a smart move indeed. And, I do wish her well and believe that she should indeed be in a leadership role for the United States. She’s got spunk and stickability, and we need that!

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Do You Know Where the Land Mines Are?

My husband Mike was the Mayor of Southern Pines at the early age of 32.  He served for two terms, and he has been politically active since that time.  He is now somewhat of a sage.  People from all political parties and all sides of issues walk in and out of his office throughout the week to get his advice on a variety of topics.  Why him?  Because he knows where the land mines are.

In leadership, developing political savvy is a must.  Otherwise, you run the risk of being governed by your followers.  While I am a huge fan of self directed leadership, at the end of the day, someone high at the top has to have the credibility, trust and integrity to make tough decisions, and this comes from being able to navigate complex political situations with finesse.

It is not uncommon for leaders to shy away from corporate or community politics, and in my opinion, this is just being naive or just plain stupid.   Politically savvy leaders know to operate well behind the scenes, who the key players are and how to engage those key players with integrity so that they get on board.  A politically savvy leader also knows where the land mines are, and they walk gingerly around them.    A politically savvy leader never plays favorites, but he or she knows exactly what to say and when to say it and understands that working the political system is like walking through a maze…you eventually get to the result, but it is confusing and strategic at each and every turn.

If you are someone who is politically savvy, congratulations.  If not, I highly recommend the book Political Savvy by Joel  DeLuca.  The book offers a political mapping technique that is simple but so effective.  Just remember…knowing where the land mines are and knowing how to navigate the political system in your organization are half the battle!.