This is a re-post/update to a post I did back in November. After having just dealt with a primary here in NH, I thought this might be worth posting again. Seriously, watch and listen to the commercials for these folks. He or she whom markets themselves the best, raises the most money, and positively influences people in a fixed amount of time, they are the ones who get elected. What about the rest of the time? Shouldn’t the track record of these folks when their mouths are shut be the thing we care about most, or at least vote on?
Recently, Scott Berkun, a blogger I follow, had offered up a topic to write about. The topic was “If you could make anyone in the world stop talking for 24 hours, who would it be? And why?” I thought about this for a couple of seconds and a slightly different idea popped into my head. How about making someone stop talking for 30 days? What if our politicians, especially those running for office, had to put up while they shut up, for 30 days? In this make-believe land, it would probably be better to have them do this for 6 months or more, but we will say 30 days for this piece.
They say that it takes 21-28 days to make or break a habit. So this 30 day silence would give our politicians time to create some new habits. Imagine that actions speak louder than words, and for 30 days there were no words, just actions. That could be powerful stuff, right?
What would a campaigning politician do without words for 30 days? What actions would they take? And the actions they take; would it speak volumes for them? Would they really change habits in 30 days, and maybe become a better leader than they are self-marketer? It would be interesting I bet.
Isn’t our government supposed to be about the people? Not the persons who speak the most eloquent, or the ones who look the best on camera, or even the ones with ties to the most money. I am talking about people representing the masses. People who put actions in place and let others do the talking. People whose actions are a story worth telling. How great would this be? Leaders across our country working everyday for 30 days to take actions that would get them where they want to go, without plugging themselves and making promises every five minutes.
Now, I am a novice when it comes to government and politics really. I do know that good people are necessary in any organization to make it run the way it should be run. I also know there are millions of people here in the United States that have real concerns, wonderful ideas, and who are not afraid of taking a stand for what is right. With that said, I am guessing that silent politicians who are out and about, listening to collective voices, getting to know the wonderful folks across our great country, being involved directly with the programs they would rather just mention in a sound bite, would be positively impacted. 30 days of this approach. All actions. How much better would our leadership be? I wonder how many of our politicians would even want to continue pursuing office if they had to speak with their actions alone.
I know that plenty of these folks work hard at what they do. It seems to me that most of the sounds we hear from candidates are based on the reaction they hope to get and not the actions they perform day-to-day. Hey none of us are perfect, we know that, so we don’t believe folks who say all the perfect things. It’s not real. 30 days of actions would be much closer to real than most of the things we hear. It would be awesome to have all these folks lead by example. I think it would be cool to see something like this happen, if I could make anyone in the world stop talking. Who would you choose to make stop talking, and for how long?