Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Learning On The Job 

There may come a time in a leader's reign when the leader admits he was wrong. This apparently has happened to the governor of California who is calling for tax hikes after years of resisting them. The hard part of turning from one's past promises is bringing the populace with you. Almost certainly, his supporters feel betrayed. The question is how is he going to persuade them that higher taxes are the only solution. Or can he? This is a particularly difficult communications challenge. It takes scene setting before one introduces the theme. One has to paint a dire picture and a lack of solutions and eventually concede the point he has resisted. The governor has done that, but it may not be enough.

Perhaps the best position is to avoid taking a hardened one from the beginning. But, politicians don't always get that option. They are forced to make promises that they cannot always keep. Given that, it is hard to understand why anyone would want a top political job.


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