[March 11, 2014] Earlier today (link here), I wrote about how the US Congress was seen in the eyes of many of our citizens as being dysfunctional and held in low regards. To many, the belief that Congress lacks good leadership is an important observation and should be a wake-up call to our elected representatives.
Part of good leadership, as we all know, is ensuring that leaders are focusing the attention of the organization on important matters. This is what strategy is all about because without it there is little direction, resources are wasted, and organizational drift and decline will occur. Eventually, the organization experiences internal competition and conflicts.
The majority of the American public does not believe that Congress is acting in their best interests and those things that Congress members believe are important are not what citizens believe are important.
For example, the Senate just pulled an all night session on Climate Change (aka Global Warming). Senate members spoke in shifts throughout the night with the goal to urge a “divided Congress and nation to wake up on this issue.” This was not a filibuster or related to any legislation.
At least Senate members recognize that the Congress is “divided.” Some in the Senate believe that the issue of Climate Change is very important, so much so that for the first time they voluntarily stayed up all night to highlight it. The people of the U.S. do not think it is as significant since they rank it at the bottom of 20 essential actions the Congress should be working hard to resolve.
A good strategy prioritizes objectives, aligns resources, provides a guidepost, clarifies unknowns and risks, and establishes a realistic end-state. The fact that citizens do not think Congress is tackling issues important to them, largely explains the low opinion of Congress. This all-nighter illustrates why people see this as the “worst Congress ever.”
Regardless of one’s belief in Climate Change, the fact that it does not raise to the level of importance of more pressing issues, means that Congress and the American people are not in agreement with each other. This is not a good mix and shows a lack of the use of essential leadership principles.
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