FlipFlop Politicians

Allon Raiz (author of this note) sits on a steering committee that is bidding for an international conference to be hosted in South Africa in 2009. The organizing committee came through from the States to check out South Africa’s bid. The subject of American politics came up and I was introduced to a new term called FlipFlop politicians.

The American media have become rabid about politicians who say one thing one day and the opposite on another. They scan each politician’s speech for any contradiction to previous speeches. A politician who changes his/her mind is regarded as untrustworthy and is then labeled a FlipFlop politician thus almost certainly ending their careers.

The concept of consistency is equally important for entrepreneurs. It is equally important for anyone in an organisation who wants to be taken seriously. People do business with people they trust. It’s part of our primal instinct. We want to hunt with people we can rely on. We don’t want to second guess where Joe is when we are surrounding the Mammoth. If we trust that Joe will be in his designated place in the hunt, then Joe is an asset to us; if Joe might not be in his designated position, he is a liability.

The same can be said for leadership. It is more likely to follow a consistent leader who has a slightly different value system from your own than an inconsistent one who does share your value system.

So, no matter what position you might be in, at the moment, try to make sure you are consistent in your actions, consistent in your re-actions, consistent in you values and consistent in your views. Reliability builds trust and trust builds your ability to achieve your personal goals.

This Week’s Challenge

Act as your own observer this week. Observe every sentence, every tone, and every action and answer a simple question. “Based on my observations, would I 100% trust this person?”

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