Compromise = Winning

So this shutdown has really been an education in political dysfunction, bickering, and childish behavior. 


But when President Trump yesterday went on the air and provided a compromise solution whereby he gets funding for a 200 mile border wall/barrier and the Democrats get money for humanitarian relief at the border, high-tech sensors, and years of protection for 700,000 children that came to this country illegally (DACA) and another 300,000 for immigrants from designated countries that prevent their sage return (TPS)–it seems like everybody would come out a winner!


That’s negotiation.¬† That’s compromise.¬† That’s diplomacy.¬†¬†


When President Trump did this, I thought he really won the day, especially when the Democrats rejected his proposals and offered nothing in return or as an alternative. 


Even if the other side disagrees with the solution, they can and should offer what their version of a compromise/agreement would be and so on between the parties–this way, they can negotiate until both sides get to the magical compromise that everyone can agree to and live with.¬†


What I learned from this is that regardless of your political leanings, the side that shows flexibility and compromise and the desire to get something done, is the side that wins the argument, period. 


Those that want it all or are simply obstructionist and haters are the big losers in the debate. 


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Listen, Empathize, Give A Little

A colleague was talking to me about negotiating and working with others:


He said something I liked: 


Listen, empathize, and give a little. 


Yes, we each have our beliefs and positions on things.


But we don’t live in a vacuum.


Other people have their own views, sensitivities, and wants. 


We have to get along so we can work together, and get things done. 


It starts by listening–not just hearing, but really listening to what the other person is saying.¬†


But that’s not really enough.¬†


To really understand the other person, we have to try to empathize with what they are feeling–we need to try to walk in their shoes even if just for a moment.¬†


But that also isn’t enough.¬†


We can’t have it all our way–we need to give a little to get a little.¬†


No one can have everything and have a good relationship like that. 


We need to compromise–as long as it’s not on things of integrity, conviction, or G-d.¬†


Everything else we have to listen, empathize, and give a little.¬† ūüėČ


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

“Shock And Awe” Project Management

So this is a new type of project management and it can be very effective. 


It’s called (my name):¬†

Shock and Awe Project Management


This technique is similar to the military doctrine of shock and awe that uses speed and overwhelming power to dominate the battlefield and vanquish the enemy.


In project management too, there are often naysayers, Debbie Downers, resisters, excuse makers, and people that lay down obstacle after obstacle to progress. 


This invariably derails projects and causes them to fall behind schedule, go over budget, experience scope creep, not meet the genuine user requirements, and ultimately fail!


However, if you manage the project with “shock and awe” and set aggressive timelines, assign substantial¬†and very good resources, and move the project full speed ahead, then you can similarly create a momentum to the project that enables it to overcome the “enemies of the progress” (i.e. those that don’t really want it to succeed or are too busying covering their own a*ses).


This approach is¬†not¬†advocating speed at the expense of quality¬†nor¬†is it calling for cutting corners or riding roughshod over people, but rather¬†to the contrary, it calls for techniques similar to the military of moving with absolute focus, determination, efficiency, collaboration,¬†synchronization,¬†and overwhelming¬†“project power” to ensure it’s success.¬†

Projects, like battles, can be “won” by putting the right resources on the field and moving them to get¬†quick wins in rapid succession¬†(where the enemies of progress don’t stand a real fight) so that the projects get not only completed on time and within budget, but most importantly to real stakeholder satisfaction and the organization’s success.¬†


(Source Photo: here with attribution to AlexVan)

Under The Feet Of Haters

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So there is a saying in Washington, D.C….


“You know you’ve made it when you have your haters.”


This is a very political town!


But more than that, a leader has to take a position. 


You have to stand for something. 


There are oodles of constituencies and no matter how hard you try, you will never satisfy everyone. 


Yes ideally, we always want to create a win-win situation. 


However, every give, usually has a take, since the pie isn’t infinite.¬†


Compromise where possible, but hold your ground where necessary. 


The key is to choose a direction from your conscience and follow your moral compass and do the most good for the most people and what’s right in the eyes of G-d.¬†


Unfortunately, some people will declare themselves your mortal enemy and try to stamp you out of existence just for being and following who you are. 


Many of us who have experienced racism, discrimination, slavery, and even genocide know this senseless hate all too well. 


Be strong of of good courage and do righteousness. 


G-d is our rock and shield. 

Psalm 27: “The L-rd is my light and salvation–whom shall I fear? ¬†The L-rd is the stronghold of my life–of whom shall I be afraid.”

So as your enemies advance to step on and try and crush you, remember that G-d will decide where their feet actually land and how they will fall. ūüôā


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Loyalty To Others Vs. True To Yourself

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So after the aborted Healthcare bill to replace failing Obamacare, President Trump tweeted about the alt-right’s lack of support for the bill:¬†

“We learned a lot about loyalty [today].”


The Freedom Caucus refused to vote with the rest of the Republicans on the 7-year long awaited repeal and replace of Obamacare. 


Instead, they felt it didn’t go farther enough to rescind everything from Obamacare they hated, and they chose to leave Obamacare as the solution for the foreseeable future, rather than get a replacement bill they felt was also subpar.


Whether this was smart or dumb, time will tell. 


РSmart РIf down the road, they get a better replacement to Obamacare then what was being offered now. 


РDumb РIf rather than a better replacement, we end up either stuck with Obamacare indefinitely or get an even worse alternative later. 


It’s a little like gambling Vegas–they decided to roll the dice again, rather than leave the table with their winnings.¬†


Sure, they could end up a bigger winner or they can lose it all, so we’ll see.¬†


But there is another important question here:


What obligation did they have to be loyal and vote with their party vs. being loyal to their own conscience?


The Democrats have held the line better in terms of voting as block–and hence they have proved superior in many cases in wielding their share of power.¬†


In contrast, the Republicans have been more divided and hence, they can’t get the votes they need to pass the legislation desired by the right–because somebodies are always holding out for a better deal.¬†


But Trump represents “The Art of the Deal,”–and a deal usually means negotiation, compromise, and that nobody gets everything they want.


So while everyone should vote and act their conscience, there is also something to be said for loyalty to the team effort. 


If everyone just holds out for what they want, then really that stoneheadedness will result in virtually nothing getting done. 


We’ve all got to give a little to get a little, as long as it doesn’t violate our moral compass, core values, and faith.¬†


Loyalty also has to do with showing and acting with respect. 


And being disloyal to the team and leadership has ramifications.


Those who seemed as if they were being true to themselves and their constituents–may end up having really let themselves and the others down, and not just Trump and Ryan.¬†


Finally, loyalty is a two-way street, and I have a feeling Caesar is not yet done with the great treachery that was perhaps so callously inflicted on him and the greater national cause. ūüėČ


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Compromise Preferred

 

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Sometimes we may feel that we are right and that’s it.


Our inclination is perhaps to just do what we think and hold the line. 


But if we can take a step back and listen to the concerns of others then we can be the bigger for it. 


That sweet spot of compromise is where we keep both our integrity intact and still find a middle ground that’s acceptable to the many.¬†


Compromise is better than just giving someone the proverbial finger and telling them where to go and how to get there. 


Strength is peace…and peace is strength.


When that doesn’t work, then there still always the alternative for good to overcome evil in this world. ūüėČ


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)