As a sales manager who has been around the block a few times I am not exactly enamored by the way our political hacks are hacking away at each other. One of the first rules you learn as a salesperson is to not criticize your competition. Nobody wins the battle of verbally abusing competitors. As soon as the word gets around that rep A has been attacking rep B’s company then the war starts.
OK, politics is different than sales or is it? Sales is nothing more than identifying needs through intelligent questioning and then offering a solution to the needs. Hmmm… Politics represents two or more groups of people who claim they know the needs of their prospects (us) and then offers the prospects perfect, Utopian solutions to all the needs. If you or I had done that as a salesperson how much do you think we would have sold? Nada!
Most of us assume that most politicians are reasonably intelligent. Well, I used to think that anyway. I think that politicians understand how the political system works and what it takes to get elected but that does not mean they are intelligent. Rats learn about mazes because they understand how the system works. Not much IQ beyond that. If politicians are so smart why do they make the same mistakes generation after generation? Here’s an interesting thought. Why do we continue allowing them to do that?
How long would we as salespeople or sales managers keep our jobs if we had openly criticized our competition, offered products that didn’t work and committed the same stupid mistakes year after year? Wanna bet that we would have been unemployed?
Well, here’s an idea. Politicians talk about making teachers, CEO’s and others accountable for how they perform. Great idea! So let’s make politicians accountable to us. And please, let’s make them accountable for something other than earmarking funds. Accountability should also depend on making decisions and enacting laws that help all people regardless of where they live, how much money they make or what race they are. How hard is it to figure out how to solve a problem when the same problem has been around for 50 years? How long would a company be around that failed to solve prospect’s problems? Accountability every 2 or 4 years isn’t enough. How dumb would it be to make politiicans truly accountable? Have them document what they are going to do (don’t salespeople do this?) and then report on their progress publicly-every three months.
I’m probably showing my political naivete here. I sound too much like the school librarian who could be heard yelling “why can’t we all get along” when two bullies start fighting each other in the library. But wait, maybe it’s not naivete. Maybe it’s common sense waiting for someone to listen up!
The Final Word: Politics, as a practice, whatever its professions, has always been the systematic organization of hatreds.” Henry Brooks Adams.