While I tend to avoid new year’s resolutions, I do like to think what I have learned in the last year and how it will affect the next 365 and ¼ days.
We are more than our politics. Far more. While I opine, read and argue- and I do care about decisions that affect us all- we have watched the stock market hit a new high and gas prices hit a new low. Often this is in spite of government policies, not as a result of them. Those who are out there changing the world for the better do not change their plans because some bunch of fools managed to get elected. It is a sideshow,
John Keynes was concerned with what he thought was an obsession with a commercial orientation that ignored high culture today for an obsession with the future. He may have been partially right. Those who sacrifice for the future (capitalists) must remain optimistic, but that does not require ignoring the things that make life great today.
Pursue policies that make life better for all, but live like politics are less relevant.
When rationality conflicts with common sense, go with the common sense. In business and in politics I have seen intelligent people rationalize (which is distinctly and often the opposite from rationality) some foolish ideas and policies. More often than not time is on the side of common sense, and what appeared to be rationality was merely rationalization of foolish ideas. If you are torn between these feeling, move slowly, time will be very clarifying.
Arbitrary deadlines and false senses of urgency can cause very foolish decisions.
Some problems solve themselves and some don’t. Good leadership is often knowing the difference. Seemingly complex problems do not always require complex or systemic solutions. If your company is losing money, take the time to find simple things that can be changed for improvement, and do that regularly. While there may be major shift that require drastic change, most companies live and die in inches. In fact the inches may be more destructive because they accumulate before the damage is clearly visible. Whether the change requires inches or miles, it does require action, feedback and accountability.
Fragile egos and excuses are impediments to effective teams and effective changes. I question if such egos can be changed or if it would be easier to replace; it is hard for people who are part of the problem to be part of the solution. This may as true in politics as it is in business.
Don’t delay decisions that must be made. It is easier to make a lot of small changes than big changes, but rarely do needed changes happen on their own.