If business acumen, guaranteed someone, would become a quality, empathetic, effective, public leader, it might be somewhat simpler, to discover, and elect, the individuals, who would best represent our nation, and the electorate’s best interests. However, while business decisions, might focus, substantially on self – interest, and a specific agenda, a public official must tailor his performance and focus, on a broader perspective! There is a significant, substantial difference, between the concept of great negotiations, and negotiating skill, in the private and public sector. With that in mind, this article will attempt to briefly identify, consider, and discuss, 5 of these differences.
1. Money/ financial/ fiscal: President Donald Trump has often claimed to be one of the greatest negotiators of all times. He proudly refers to his hit book, from several decades ago, The Art of the Deal. However, whether he was, indeed, the unbelievable negotiator, he claims to be, or not (there is considerable difference of opinion, about this topic), his measure of a great negotiating result, focuses on the financial aspect. While this might be acceptable, and, even desirable, in the private sector, it is probably, not so, in public service and negotiations. The public, often, needs to think beyond money, because part of governing, is often, helping those in need. Measuring a negotiation, from whether there is a positive financial impact, might often, be examining, far less than the bigger – picture!
2. Attitude: Mr. Trump articulates a message, where he refers to negotiating, as having its core, based on winning! However, while this might be, somewhat obvious, in a business – oriented negotiation, it is not, often, so, in a public scenario! Public leaders must exhibit an empathetic, positive attitude, based on the common good, not merely, the interests of his core supporters.
3. Options: A public leader must be ready, willing and able to consider as many viable options and alternatives, as possible, in an outside – the – box, service – oriented manner! This is often, considerably more challenging, in the public, than in the private sector!
4. Who’s represented/ served?: When one owns all, or has a considerable interest in a specific company, his focus must be, on prioritizing, what’s best for it, even if it might not benefit others. However, elected officials, must, realize, it’s their responsibility, to serve and represent, all their constituents, not only, those who voted for them!
5. Overall impact: When one represents others, he must avoid the simplicity of populist rhetoric, and seriously consider, the overall impact, and common good, as well as the relevant, and sustainable ramifications!
There are many differences between negotiating on one’s personal best – interests, as opposed to serving others! This should be a major consideration, when electing individuals, to office!