Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Leaders on the hot seat

I've been taking in hours of U.S. political news - like so many others - over the last few weeks. It's fascinating to see democracy at work; it's what makes this a great country. Also, it mind blowing to see what the candidates must endure during the process. There's the town hall meetings, the interviews, the bus tours and the media scrutiny. These people are on the hot seat. Ouch! Can we can learn something from watching these candidates? I believe two lessons stand out:

1. Listen to the Feedback.

After the Iowa caucus, many candidates have made changes to their campaign based on feedback from their camps, the voters and the media. For example, Senator Clinton has decided to show her emotional side during the final days to the New Hampshire primary. Governor Richardson is aggressively tauting his national security strengths. These presidential candidates and others constantly have their hand on the pulse of public opinion. They know perception is reality and their success depends on voters buying into their message. We too should embrace feedback. It's the surefire way we know what areas we need to work on.

2. Don't try to make big changes alone.

The candidates have supporters to assist them when making changes based on feedback. So, just as the candidates have supporters, we need supporters too. We need someone -- who will not sugarcoat things --to push us upward and onward. I remember John McCain from his previous run for the White House. He has made changes to his style to be more electable with help. Now, John McCain has not changed his principles or what he stands for, he tweaked a few things that rubbed voters and his party the wrong way.

During this election process, you'll see more changes coming from the candidates. It's called the pursuit of continuous improvement. Let's take a cue from them, and work to get better each and every day.

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