Monday, October 15, 2012

The Nature of Politics

This weekend I took time to watch the 1st State of the Union address that Reagan made to the joint session of Congress in February of 1981. An amazing step back into time... for me, I likely followed much of that speech as an 7 year old, as something happening in the background in my parent's lives. I was very aware of Reagan... his presidency was timed to my awakening to political life. And I have always held him in the highest regard, still do.

Watching this speech now helps demonstrate the complexity of leadership, especially political leadership. You have to pander to the base a bit. You have to dodge specifics a bit. And then you get to wrap it all up in grand political thought. That grandness of thought arrives, in this speech, in the last 5-7 minutes, and oh, is it worth it.
"The taxing power of the government must be used to provide revenue for legitimate government purposes. It must not be used to regulate the economy or bring about social change."
The grandness of speech is so necessary. I'm seeing it in the conversations the CEO of my current company is having with us now, as we transit a period of serious change in the organization. How to execute against that is the hard part, and is where we all become so human. We fail some, we succeed some. People will chose to see portions of both, and decide that we are a liar or a savior... so as to position themselves for social acceptance or to promote the next political victory.

So how does one go about executing the change? That is the question I'm studying now.



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