Saturday, 20 September 2014

A Week is a Long Time..........

"A week is a long time in the world of politics" - this comment is attributed to Harold Wilson after winning an election.

This couldn't be more relevant in this week gone by.

Many of us will have felt bombarded with information from just about every media source on the Scottish Referendum.  The polls ebbed and flowed, pundits speculated, debates went on endlessly......we had passion, despair, elation , disappointment, accusations, humiliation, resignation,.....and consequences.

Careers were improved or ruined, some performances were praised and some were vilified.  No matter where you positioned yourself in the decision whether Scotland should be independent or not you cannot help but feel for the main players in this Greek tragedy.  

Although I very much interested in politics, the older I get the more I realise that there is no such thing as an ideal outcome.

Some think they have gained too much or too little.  Some will try to save face and will seek to employ damage limitation. Winning is only the start not an end in itself as the victors struggle to make their policies viable and to weather the storm of the opposition.

We now have the political conferences for the next 2/3 weeks with the inevitable posturing and promises, pledges. What is a fact of life is that unless you get a convincing mandate you are unable to carry through policies as intended.  Instead you have to negotiate with other parties to achieve a resolution which does not water down (too much) your intended goal.

Whatever you do you are on a hiding to nothing as vested interests will interpret your actions along tribal lines and you will rarely hear praise for the efforts employed.

So it is in everyday corporate life....managers would love to see their plans implemented but instead find they have to "play the game" with the most overused management speak.....with the dreaded stakeholders!!  You are in a "no win" situation as you will be perceived as being strong, weak, indecisive, a good leader, a bad one, strategic or tactical........

As I have been musing and reflecting on the past week a couple of pieces of advice which were given to me very early in my career came into my head......

Always be kind and mindful of the people on the way up because you might meet them on the way down....


and ........

Remember it pays to fail in later life....................