Thursday, November 10, 2016

leadership dot #1623: abstentions

I was heartbroken over the election results, even more so because more people actually voted for Hillary than Trump, yet the glass ceiling remains unbroken. 

With Arizona and Michigan still up in the air, the tally was Clinton: 59,794,934 vs. Trump: 59,588,434 -- a difference of 206,500 -- a quarter of a million votes in Hillary's favor.

Once again, the third fourth and fifth party candidates diverted enough votes that could have swung the election; those candidates received over 6 million votes. Former President George W. Bush publicly admitted that he left his ballot blank for president, and I am sure he is not the only one to do the same. If you didn't vote for Hillary, you de facto voted against her and the world is left with the results.

I think about the parallels in this election to many things that happen in work life. People focus on the wrong results and end up with "more," but if it isn't the "right more," it doesn't have an impact. Winning the popular vote doesn't win you the election. What are the "electoral college votes" in your organization that deserve disproportionate attention? Or should you revise the system so popular votes are what matter? 

And for those who abstain in meetings or don't speak up -- or contribute efforts to the "third party" -- you may think you are remaining neutral, but you really aren't. You need to lend your voice to the work that will have results instead of taking the detour and claiming you are still on the road.

After every major event at work, we conducted a "lessons learned." I hope you take a moment to reflect on how you contributed to the good or ill in this election cycle. Click here for a good place to start.

-- beth triplett

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