What Electrifies You?

Michael Moore wrote a fascinating article in yesterday’s Observer about what Obama must do (or not do) to win the Presidency. He ridicules the notion that Obama should pick a joint runner who can appeal to Republican voters, particularly someone who will appeal to the floating voters in the key state of Ohio.

What’s significant to me is the reasons Moore gives for not doing this:

…by doing this, you will upset the base that not only must come out on election day, (but that) must also be active and work dozens of hours during the campaign. They have to personally bring 10 people each to the polls with them if we are to avoid the disasters of the past two elections. Many won’t do this extra work if Obama picks the wrong Veep. It will suck the air out of the balloon in a big way.

The key point is not about Obama winning the election. The key point is about the energy that’s released when we do what we love, and what we do best. When we think about career change, we often think radically, then scale back tactically because we’re afraid of what the market will say. But what about the energy that we lose by compromising?

And what effect does this have on the people who do see the big vision? Who do get the idea? What does compromise do to them?

They’ll just stop showing up at the campaign headquarters over on Maple Street. They’ll say they’re too busy to go on another three-hour door-to-door literature drop. They’ll still take a list of a hundred voters home to call and read the index card over the phone about “why you should vote for Obama” – but there won’t be much enthusiasm in their voice, and the voter on the other end of the line will hear that. After 15 or 20 calls, they’ll give up – after all, there’s dishes to do and a dog to walk. And on election day they’ll go do their duty and vote, but they will not be up at 6am driving around the city picking up strangers who need a ride to the polls.

It’s so hard to remember this when faced with a huge change. We at The Career Psychologist are faced with it too. But now’s the time to be brave, and remember that the reason we changed was the big vision – not the compromised one.

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