A Fictionalized Presidential Candidate Tells Us What We Need To Hear

inspired-work-david-harderIT HAS BEEN over fifty years since John F. Kennedy told us,

Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.[su_spacer]

How long has it been since a leader had the courage to tell us to fix the problem we’re complaining about? Instead, we perpetuate a trance there is no real solution to the problem and that a president is going to fix it.

It is hard for me to envision John F. Kennedy using a focus group to tell us what we wanted to hear. Instead he told us what we needed to do.

All of our current presidential candidates promise that if we vote for them, he or she will create more jobs. Some even portray bringing people back into “real” stores with “real” cashiers. There is a terrible behavioral problem that emerges when people buy into these promises and that problem is hope. When we hope, we wait. When we hope things will get better, we stop taking the action that produces positive change.

If a presidential candidate told us what we need, it might sound like this:

[message type=”custom” width=”100%” start_color=”#F0F0F0 ” end_color=”#F0F0F0 ” border=”#BBBBBB” color=”#333333″]

“Never has there been a time where working people have been faced with greater change. In many messages, there seems to be a smokescreen of manipulating the truth to attract votes. We blame outsourcing when the United States provides more outsourcing to the world than our two closest competitors – combined. Yet, we worry about jobs going overseas. These distorted discussions distract us from the truth that technology eliminates more jobs every single day. 
So let us shift our attention to the real need:
Virtually everyone within the sound of my voice is facing frightening change in their industry and profession. Truck drivers are facing driverless trucks. Assembly line workers are facing 3D printing. In the legal field, sole practitioners are being swept away by the commoditization of law. And yet, new work springs up in the wake of these changes. 
We used to get an education and take on a job for life. It was a time when we didn’t need to change. Now, the pace of change is so swift, one degree isn’t enough. Two degrees are not enough. We have stepped into a time in our history where constant and continual education increases our probability of success over failure.
This is a time when courage is far more valuable than pining for our past. This is the time when it is wise to roll up our sleeves and define how we want to grow, how we want to change and then pursue the knowledge and resources that will take us there.
This is time to get training, go to school, get a coach, find a mentor and grow into the people we are meant to be:
Successful and vital Americans.”[/message][su_spacer]

[bctt tweet=”As someone with a deep investment in the state of work in our country, this is what I want to hear from a presidential candidate.” via=”no”]

The truth.

© Copyright 2016, Inspired Work, Inc. (All Rights Reserved)


David Harder
David Harder
DAVID founded Inspired Work in 1990, which has helped over 42,000 professionals transform their relationship towards work. Individuals from all walks of life attend Inspired Work’s public programs to launch new careers, new business or to become more successful in their existing role. He views work as a profound opportunity to become more fulfilled, contributive and effective. Mr. Harder’s leadership, employee engagement, executive development and social networking programs are used in a wide variety of organizations including The Walt Disney Company, HBO, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Loyola Marymount University, University of Southern California, The United Church of Religious Science, Morgan Stanley, and many others. Inspired Work’s leadership programs, career development and team building programs produce some of the worlds most outstanding satisfaction numbers in any business: 92.6% out of a hundred. David has appeared on many business and human-interest programs including CNN, KTLA News, KFWB News and Business News Network. David’s book, new book, The Workplace Engagement Solution (Career Press) offers an entire “crack-the-code” approach to engagement.

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  1. So true and yet so difficult to imbibe! Congratulations, David Harder for this very relevant summation of the current situation. Where do you see the change that we all need? The political scene is turning more towards hopelessness than anything. Is it really the politicians that create jobs? I doubt it even if they could pass legislations making it harder to move jobs away but that doesn’t create fresh jobs for the young aspirants or does it?

    • Good Morning Bharat, Thank you for your generous comments. I am just finishing my new book, The Workplace Engagement Solution that will be published this August by Career Press. Our political system, regardless of party, is focused on telling people what they want to hear versus the truth. With global engagement of 13% (Gallup), we need a massive retooling of how people think and behave. We need to show people how to connect with others, actively learn and shift from this fixation on security from jobs to security out of growth. This is a big order. But, humans have a history of either being pulled by the vision or pushed by the pain. Eventually, we will get there. Speeding up the process depends on you.

  2. How true. We live in a culture that expects government to solve all problems and to provide for us. This shows, as noted, in the promises being made by the current crop of presidential candidates. We will see the same from those running for other positions as we near the general election.

    • Good Morning Ken, Change can only be meaningful on a personal level. In the years ahead, I believe we will see that organizations are creating more positive impact than in government. Organizations also have a vested interest in seeing that talent and the communities in which they serve are thriving.

      David Harder