We Have The Power To Make The Future Bright

Earlier this week, Sarah Huckabee Sanders apologized for making a claim that Donald Trump created 700,000 jobs while Barack Obama only created 195,000 new positions. The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that Trump created 708,000 jobs, Obama created 3 Million positions. What is so outlandish about the numbers is that none of these leaders “created jobs.”

Politicizing the truth about work is driving many Americans into something of a trance waiting and hoping that our leaders will bring us back to a workplace based on predictability and survival. Politicizing the numbers around work represents one of the amoral manipulations of American workers. The only beneficiaries of this trance-like debate are politicians from both parties trying to hold onto their turf. Underemployed Americans are the most visible casualties.

When I get swept away watching the news, it is easy to project that we are in the modern equivalent of the fall of the Roman Empire.

The news industry has absolutely no incentive to tell us to turn off the TV and reinvent our lives. Great revenue is generated from a population glued to the Television worrying about the future, munching and eating. “Ah, let’s spray some sugar on top of that popcorn.” Next, let’s get on Facebook to voice our outrage. When I get swept away watching the news, it is easy to project that we are in the modern equivalent of the fall of the Roman Empire. Isn’t it interesting that every ad offers more medication to prepare us for the end of days? We live next to the Pacific Ocean! Outside of our home, birds are chirping. The weather is beautiful. And Rome? The city is so gorgeous that it moves me to tears.

There are forces at work here that are bigger than all of us. Instead of bragging about untruthful accomplishments, we need leaders with the humility to tell Americans how to change, reinvent and take advantage of the biggest restructuring of work since the Industrial Revolution. Technology isn’t eliminating work. It is eliminating tasks. We are being offered the freedom to do work that is far more interesting, engaging, creative, and yes, impactful.

There is tremendously good news in here! However, the very competition for political “credit” contributes to a perfect storm for many of our brothers and sisters who ponder, “Where is my place in the future?” Yes, it takes a bit of courage to answer this question but an answer is there. Right now, I fear much of our country is caught in a strange pothole by seeking comfort before action.

The last President who gave us the message that we have the power to change the world was John F. Kennedy. Gotcha! Before his message is contemptuously cast aside as the philanderer, simply allow one moment to consider he was the last political leader who didn’t craft a campaign from marketing research. Since then, focus group politics have progressively developed a paternalistic leadership model that is poisonous to self-responsibility and a truthful discourse about the challenges of modern times, especially around issues of work, education and becoming better versions of ourselves.

I am excited about our future and yet I am deeply concerned about the energy consumed with obsessive distraction and the notion that someone is going to fix the future for us.

Kennedy once said,

“Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.”

We have the power to make that future bright.


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. It is an old story: the statistical data on the number of employees is an element on which politicians often base their propaganda campaigns, aimed at demonstrating the effectiveness of their economic policies or, alternatively, the ineffectiveness of those of their adversaries.
    What is happening in the world of work is a structural tendency and destined to undergo strong acceleration in the coming years. Instead, responsible politicians should seriously commit themselves to contribute to the construction of those open, sustainable and inclusive labor markets that are the prerequisite for a country’s socio-economic growth: only those communities that adopt forward-looking policies will increase their resilience and be able to combine development and social cohesion.