Two Days in Washington DC: Understanding What Could Be and How It’s Done
Generally speaking we all desire the same outcomes and benefits. Our processes are different. Politicians desire robust economies with happy, healthy, and enriched citizens free of conflicts and stress. Business leaders desire robust economies with happy, healthy, and enriched citizens that are willing and able to purchase their products and services.
I recently became a member of the Portland Business Alliance (Portland Chamber of Commerce) and the Oregon Business Council in the Organizations’ annual pilgrimage to Washington, DC to meet with our elected officials and several senior administration representatives to promote the needs and issues facing Oregon, our Business Community, and our Collective Citizens.
There are many reasons to participate in our public (political) and private (business) cooperative process. As a “Representative Republic”, our elected officials are certainly keen to serve their constituents. As business leaders, we should have an obligation to work toward the collective benefit of our constituents as well. While politicians work within and with political parties and their limitations, business leaders work within their opportunities to serve their customers, their markets, and their overall business environment (community).
While these may seem to be conflicting, they really are not. Generally speaking, we all desire the same outcomes and benefits. Our processes are different. Politicians desire robust economies with happy, healthy, and enriched citizens free of conflicts and stress. Business leaders desire robust economies with happy, healthy, and enriched citizens that are willing and able to purchase their products and services.
In the next follow-up to this article, I will illustrate the type of conversations we need to have for the idea of providing needed jobs at the risk of long-term damage to our Oregon pristine environment. How do we responsibly have this informative conversation when upward of 6,000 workers and maybe 200 highly paid and skilled jobs are a possibility? Is it worth the risk? Let’s keep talking.
My Summary and Takeaways from my 2018 Washington DC Trip
Although the Washington, DC we see is demonstrably stuck in the mud, the mud is only surface friction. The quiet political “Center” of America, aka the ol’ “silent majority”, is working together and trying to frame a new leadership model that will survive the current model of extremes.
“The rational center that recognizes differences and the value of aligning long-term values where the search or the “perfect” doesn’t get in the way of “good enough”.
Yes, I’d Do It Again
Investing in relationships that bridge the Beltway with Main Street is vitally important; we have invested years cultivating strong and respected leaders and they make significant contributions. A few of their limitations might be their limited bandwidth. There is never enough time or bandwidth concerning important issues that we probably will never fully understand due to the challenges associated with the complexities and skills required for good Leadership and the strong fortitude of any individual leading a nation. With our faults and weaknesses, the United States is the largest economy and most influential country the modern world has ever known. It is a complex organism.
I am very happy that I decided to make time for this worthwhile trip to Washington DC with our Portland Business Alliance and Oregon Business Council colleagues. Our Nation’s Capital is a very large place with many historical and relevant places to see and learn about. Next time I’ll arrive a couple days earlier and maybe grab my family or maybe some of our younger associates so maybe they might get a “bug” learn how to be more connected and involved in our communities.
Politics is messy yet it is the way to move the needle and get some legislation done; even if progress is slow it is better to be involved then not.
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