Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Race to Why (Wednesday LINKS)

I watched this TED Talk by Simon Sinek called "Start with Why" and one particular bit stuck with me:

There are leaders and there are those who lead. Leaders hold a position of power or influence. Those who lead inspire us. We follow those who lead not because we have to, but because we want to. We follow those who lead not for them, but for ourselves.

Leaders and those who lead.  Then there was this follow up expanation in Sinek's "Logistics of Leadership":

It is easy to get people to follow you. You can make promises you may or may not be able to keep. You can offer them incentives. You can even force them. But leaders don’t simply have people who follow them; real leaders command a following or a group of people who want to follow you, not because they have to, but because they believe in you. They believe in what you’re doing and where you’re going and they want to be a part of it.

If you read it closely, and strip out the "self-help" goop, it explains the absence of leadership in politics.  Modern day politics is very much about the "what" (i.e., "What are you going to do about gun violence?" or "What are you going to do about taxes?") as opposed to the "why" (i.e., "Why do we care about these things?" or "Why do we pool resources for collective action?").

There has been so much recent talk about what Maryland Democrats did wrong and Republicans did right, but in a low turnout election I think this was just a contest of "whats" where the most direct message to voters' bank accounts won.  But in order to turnout voters, right, left, or center, there should be a race to why.  If you can capture the fundamentals of why politics are important and only then describe what can be done from that perch, you will motivate participation.

[R]eal leaders command a following or a group of people who want to follow you, not because they have to, but because they believe in you.

Aspiration and inspiration are still foundational tenets of our political system.  I think they were mostly left untapped in 2014.


The Howard County delegation seems on-board with the Hogan agenda of cutting spending and reducing taxes, according to this piece by Amanda Yeager with The Howard County Times covering the Chamber of Commerce Legislative Breakfast.  Senator Kasemeyer was quoted as saying he views Hogan's election as a "very positive thing".

The Baltimore Sun takes exception to Allan Kittleman's decision to make the soda ban repeal a top priority.  While I believe this issue has now been blown completely out of proportion, I do hope the Kittleman administration has an alternative plan for addressing obesity and encouraging healthy choices.  As The Sun notes, there was a great deal of thought and deliberation invested in fine-tuning this initiative from the original blunt instrument into a more sophisticated plan for encouraging healthier decisions.  We can all agree that these decisions start with parents, but we live in a world with good parents and crappy parents alike.  Nudges like those implemented by Executive Ulman seem like fair attempts to influence the latter, but I am open to alternatives by Executive Kittleman.

The Baltimore Sun reports that the Maryland Health Exchange opened early and did not crash.  Hoorah!

The Keystone Pipeline was narrowly blocked in the Senate last night, but this is likely only a momentary pause as the GOP promises to take the measure back up once their majority is in place, reports Paul Kain and Juliet Eilperin in The Washington Post.  If you believe that Climate Change is real and that the burning of fossil fuels contributes to the same, this is an issue to follow.  If you don't believe either...that must be nice.

Featured Blog Post of the Day: Jason Booms analyzes the Board of Education results.  Jason's blog was a must-read/must-watch for me during the campaign season and I highly recommend his site.  If the blogosphere is ever going to regain the stature it had during the "Age of Wordbones", it will take insightful writers like Jason (as well as my good friends Julia, Bill, and Duane).

Speaking of which, Bill has a spectacular analysis of Allan Kittleman's soda ban repeal here.  A must read.

On a related note, has run out its lease.  I noticed that and thought I would share. 

Have a great Wednesday doing what you love!