Last week, more than 400 people filed to run for the Michigan House of Representatives, alone. That does not include the State Senate, Congress and the various county seats now open, not to mention judicial races and the various county elections. Some will withdraw their names before the ballots are printed and others will vigorously campaign over the next several months, before the August primary and November general election. Earlier this month, the French elected a new President, voting for change over the incumbent, Nicolas Sarkozy. In Greece, after a May 6 election, voters could not decide on a single ruling party to turn that country around and now Greece is at a political impasse. In Russia, Dmitry Medvedev ceded the Russian Presidency back to Vladimir Putin, despite recent protests. In China, Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao wil handover the presidency in 2013 and the Prime Minstership to Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang. Also in 2012, the following countries will host elections: Mexico (July 1), Venezuela (October 7), Egypt Kenya (August 14) Taiwan (January 14, 2013).
In November, we too will have the opportunity to select or re-select whom we want to run the United States of America. Just as we voted for “Change” in 2008, by selected Barack Obama as President, voters in Democracies world-wide are now starting to vote for Change – Will Change come to America again?
We can see in some pockets, “Change” is already occurring. For example, in Indiana, long-time U.S. Senator Richard Lugar lost his election, in the primary.
Just as political incumbents are starting to fall, so to are our corporate CEOs. The CEOs of Yahoo, Best Buy, AOL, Avon and JPMorgan have all left or resigned. There is no doubt that we will see new faces in places that will impact us and where our daily and professional lives collide. And as we move forward, so to must our relationships with key decision makers who have influence over us.
But how much do we really know about these people? What is their agenda? Why and How did they get into this position? What motivates them and how can we develop meaningful relationships with them before we need their assistance? How much do they about me, about my company and about my agenda?
Campaigns are all about raising awareness, developing name ID, exchanging ideas and debating solutions for problems we face. It is time that we start using campaigns to educate the candidates on what we do as businesses, as unions, as entrepreneurs, educators and the like. Just as a candidate will approach you asking you for your vote, take them aside and start telling them about you.
Start now by developing a relationship with them. It does not matter if they are a Democrat or a Republican, if they drink tea or even something else. Relationships are built around trust, around issues and around ideas. It is time we start exchanging them so that we stay on top of the change, develop the relations and take an active role in the future direction of our city, county, state, country, business, industry and family.