Getting to the point! (and 5 questions we should always ask ourselves)

Written by

Tom Ootes


February 12, 2018

As we head toward yet another election, our expectation for open and honest dialogue grows about as fast as our disappointment in the often misleading, self-serving and deceptive commentary. It’s an amazing paradox – just when we need to hear real, deliverable and appropriate policy, we get exactly the opposite.

It could be the advisers whispering in the background, or it could be a simple survival mentality at play. But whatever is causing it, it has to stop. Because if we get the politicians we deserve, we deserve much better. Perhaps they are good people at heart – committed and ready to serve – but serve they should.

We have a fairly simple but important discipline that we apply to ourselves and our work. We do it, because in most cases, we are being paid to do a job. And that job carries with it certain obligations; not many and quite simple, but obligations nevertheless:

Before we open our mouths, write a recommendation or deliver work, we ask ourselves 5 very simple questions:

  1. Does this serve the brand in a positive way – is it appropriate?
  2. Would I believe this?
  3. Would I accept this?
  4. Would I understand/appreciate this?
  5. Have I delivered what was asked of me?

Perhaps all politicians could ask themselves 5 very similar questions before they open their mouths;

  1. Does this serve South Australia in a positive way – is it appropriate and responsible?
  2. Would I believe this?
  3. Would I accept this?
  4. Would I understand and appreciate this?
  5. Have I done what was asked of me?

Maybe that’s the filter we place on everything we hear?

Maybe the media places these questions under every political statement. Then perhaps we can meaningfully judge policy and make ‘informed’ decisions at the ballot box. Maybe then we will get the politicians we truly deserve.