Have you ever been in a situation where everyone knows there is an elephant in the room but no one wants to talk about said elephant? In fact, we all know the colour of the skin, the length of the tusks, the height and weight of the animal but we aren’t able to address removing it from the room.
Anyone who knows me personally will tell you that I always try to tell things the way they are not the way that I want them to be. As a rule, it can cause problems but I figure if I am straight forward about the topic that I will be able to look myself in the mirror in the morning.
To paraphrase Jeff Foxworthy, you know there is an elephant in the room when
- You are told to take your blog down because independent discourse is causing problems. Under all circumstances, I am entitled to an opinion on any topic that I chose to become informed enough to form an opinion. If I elect to put my generic opinion in a blog, I can do so as long as I don’t write anything libelous or untrue.
- There is no opinion except for the officially sanctioned opinion. Whether in business or politics, everyone is entitled to an opinion. For reference, you should check out the material written on individuals such as Jack Welch from GE, Bill Gates from Microsoft, Steve Jobs from Apple, Lee Iacocca from Ford and GM. Not everyone who worked with them or for them was wildly in favour of their policies and opinions. In fact, in innovative organizations, open discussions and the concept of integrated thinking are practiced daily.
- Your blind spot never changes. Everyone has blind spots including me. But, my blind spot is always changing. If you aren’t moving forward, you aren’t making progress and the scenery never changes. The elephant in the room obscures the view and if the blind spot is always a blank wall, renewal, innovation and revitalization is impossible.
- People close ranks and treat your family poorly. Fear is a great motivator. I am expecting that even though the blog is intended to discuss principles or lack thereof of leadership that there will be repercussions. The nature of public discourse is that the person with the opinion is tolerated because they don’t know what will happen next.
Just to put this in complete perspective,
- I was a candidate for the Manitoba Liberal Party in Dawson Trail.
- I had $280.00 budget, 525 square miles and 15 days to campaign. Let me tell you that this is public information. Anyone who checks the Elections Manitoba website can see when I was nominated, what I spent and the votes that I received.
- I am quite happy with 321 votes. I figured I would get 10 at most so 321 votes was a respectable third place based on the resources available. In fact, it is 21.4 votes for every day that I campaigned. I figure that is good odds seeing as I didn’t have name recognition.
- I have been asked if I want to be the leader of the party. The answer is no.
- I am the Regional Director for Riel and that will be my focus for the next couple of years.
- I am a card-carrying member of the Manitoba Liberal Party and I won’t be turning my party card in any time soon. I do think that we need to put this party on a new path or we will go the way of the NDP in Saskatchewan. The Saskatchewan Party is a shining example of what can be accomplished when a group of like-minded individuals have a focus and a goal.
To quote Aaron Tippin,
“Now Daddy didn’t like trouble, but if it came along
Everyone that knew him knew which side that he’d be on
He never was a hero, or this county’s shinin’ light
But you could always find him standing up
For what he thought was right
He’d say you’ve got to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything
You’ve got to be your own man not a puppet on a string
Never compromise what’s right and uphold your family name
You’ve got to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything.”
I wrote a personal blog on Sunday that I entitled “When It is Time To Go .. Do The Right Thing.” This is true in every business, organization, and can even apply when relatives come to stay and won’t leave. So, let’s talk about who this blog might have applied to:
- Vic Toews – Vic is the MP for Provencher. In fact, he is my MP. Remember him. The elephant in the room is Bill C-30 and his hypocrisy regarding ‘family values’. Do I want him to resign? Yes.
- Stephen Harper – Stephen is our Prime Minister. The elephant in the room is Robocalls. If Elections Canada finds the federal PCs guilty, do I want him to resign? Yes.
- Jon Gerrard – Jon is the leader of the Manitoba Liberal party. The elephant in the room is the current tempest in a teapot over the future direction of the party. Do I want him to resign? This falls under the dumb question category. As I told Bruce Owen yesterday, Jon has said he will resign in 2013. Last time that I checked, Jon was a man of his word.
- Greg Selinger – Greg is the Premier of the Province of Manitoba. The elephant in the room is the current deficit. Do I want him to resign? Yes, his government is spending my grandchildren into the poor house.
- Due to non-disclosure agreements and a need to keep business information confidential, I am prevented from disclosing the business practices of private and public companies. We can all find a business person that fits the profile that I described.
It is amazing how many people thought Sunday’s blog was about them. A little dialogue goes a long way.
I am finally looking the elephant in the room square in the eye. I suggest you all do the same. Fantasy is never better than reality.