Friend and US Representative John Delaney (D-MD) believes the solution to our nation’s most troubling political challenges are rooted in candor. In his newly-released book, The Right Answer: How We Can Unify Our Divided Nation, Delaney shares his insight on the critical factors that he believes will help fix our broken politics to improve functionality and create change.
The co-founder and CEO of two companies (which were ultimately sold for billions), Delaney is an active philanthropist and was recently named by Fortune magazine as one of the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders. His book is rife with anecdotes from his immigrant ancestors, his blue-collar childhood, his time building and leading businesses, and his recent years representing the constituents of Maryland’s sixth district. He has a gift for recognizing social/policy issues, applying common business sense, working with members of all parties, and offering smart, reasonable solutions. Delaney is widely-known as the third most bipartisan member of Congress, something he’s undeniably proud of.
Among his plans for unifying our divided parties into more productive relationships, Delaney suggests time-proven business strategies like embracing compromise, looking for opportunity, offering incentives, creative thinking, investing in entrepreneurship, and focusing on the future. Most importantly, Delaney says we must start by telling the truth.
Tell the Truth
Telling the truth is a smart strategy in business, and in government. If we want to restore trust with the American people, we need to communicate directly and honestly with them… The first step is to tell the American people the truth.
Delaney suggests no more dodgy press briefings or sunshine-y State of the Union addresses, from either side of the aisle. Rather, he wants regularly televised open debates with the President and members of Congress, and frank talk about what is truly happening in the nation, good and bad.
Transparency is the greatest tool for getting at the truth and bringing forth new ideas, so let’s open the door to real debate and let the light shine in.
Rely on Facts
One of our government’s biggest problems is that it makes decisions based not on facts, but on politics, emotions, and ideology.
In my own experience in efforts to increase candor for organizations and leaders, I agree – searching for and understanding the facts is a critical, essential piece of uncovering solutions and creating success.
Honor with Respect
We find ourselves suffering through a period in American politics during which civility has gone out the window. The level of discourse has become less and less respectful, which diminishes our ability to work together and get things done.
Delaney speaks to the aggressive attacks on the morality and personal lives of politicians, from all directions. He reminds us that while there may be disagreement over policy, there should be intelligent debate toward resolution and there is no room for the lack of respect that has crept into our democracy.
If we want our political system to work more smoothly, we have to restore honesty and civility. And that starts at the very top.
If you wish to learn more about John’s views (and his one-armed grandfather), click here.