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Why Congress makes for bad business and what to do about it

I don’t write about politics on the Merchant Stand, and this post isn’t about political topics. But I had a thought about comparing the political culture to business culture this week and thought it worthy to document and share. Have you ever thought about how Congress differs from working in corporate America? Congress is group of elected officials and “leaders”. They are addressed as Congressman and Senator as a sign of respect. So why is it that much of the behavior we see from them is so contrary to the values and ideals we teach in our homes and use in our business? Media coverage is filled with partisan politics, name calling, blame games, scandals, etc.  It’s no wonder that the political party with a majority of congress is so cyclical.

Yet I know politicians are intelligent and often well respected business leaders in their communities. So why do they lose this respect from so many when they reach political office?  I think the system could be improved and accomplish more with a few adjustments to align with some age old principals. Then maybe take away a few of the privileges that make the position so valuable and return it to being a true public servant.

Respect

Treat others with respect. Stop the name calling, slander, criticism. Is the golden rule dead in politics? Instead, find value and benefit from personal differences.

Trust and Integrity

Act with integrity and build trust. Follow through with commitments. Act legally and ethically.

It’s about the people, not the Party

Let’s setup a system without political groups so that politicians can focus less on what the party is doing and more on what their constituents are saying.  In business, people align together solve needs without bickering and slander. Maybe Congress could get more done with representatives aligned towards the people rather than towards a party.I’m not suggesting a single party system that only thinks one way. I’m suggesting a system composed of individuals who think for themselves rather than what their party tells them they should do.

Let’s really make it about public service

Serve the public for a term and then let others do likewise. I hear the phrase “public servant” quite a bit within political speak. When you consider the rewards politicians have today, it’s no wonder they fight so hard to keep the position.  The basics of their package from salary, health, and retirement are well beyond what the average American receives.  I see a public servant as someone who serves others for the merit of serving others. It shouldn’t be about the perks and benefits of the position.