Politicians: Before you run a country, run a startup first.

Startup Founder Skills Which May Help Politician Endear to Their Voters

Ivan Yong Wei Kit
Jul 31 · 4 min read

Universally, politicians are known to be rather poor in keeping their promises or a being with a forked tongue, expounding words or promises whenever it serves their purpose, especially during the elections period.

A more unsavoury comparison to dirty diapers, which need constant change has also rung a bell amongst the younger voters. Who could blame them if the constant rhetoric is for the sole purpose of winning votes and only votes.

Trust seems to be somewhat lacking once you add the word politician to ones name. What had happened to the respectful days when politicians were seen as giants of their time; the contemporaries of Churchill and those before them such as the Founding Fathers of the United States of America: John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and more.

In our modern times, politicians had in majority their own doing, severed the trust that bind their voters to their ideals and leadership. The distrust is so deep today that almost everywhere you will see young voters, the future of their countries rising up to rebel against any authorities be it bad or good.

How can politicians mend this relationship and be the true leader that they are elected to be, the guardian “for and of the affairs of the citizens”.

My argument would be for these politicians to start and run a startup from ground before they consider office. Albeit there would those who has the political dynasty to back them but even for them starting a startup would give them a quick learning curve that they so lack, cocooned in their privileged lives.

According to Guy Kawasaki, a renown Silicon Valley Venture Capitalist and the author of the book, “The Art of the Start” startups are designed to achieve one of the four following goals;

Make the World a better place

Increase the quality of life

Right a terrible wrong

Prevent the end of something good

The raison d’etre of a startup has to start from a noble, just cause. Thus, aspiring politicians can learn to start working towards a goal that is of a common good to everyone and not focuses on politicking for the sake of it. Often, we see opposing politicians focused on arguing their standpoint but to no practical benefit in getting closer to any of the four goals above. Startup founders, however, are continuous making an impact as their survival and their success is entwined to the common good of the people.

Next, startup founders hold dearly to Warren Buffett’s belief that , their reputation and integrity has high economic value. Often when startup founders begin pitching their idea for funding or even selling their products or services to customers they have to rely solely on their personal reputation and integrity. There is no other elements which could help them build trust with their clients but their sincerity, tenacity and humility. Do politicians place high importance to their personal reputation and their integrity? The only way is to be authentic. If you are able to coax people to part with their money especially on an idea that is still sprouting from earning its first dollar, you can get anyone to part with their vote which is after all free to give.

Last but not least, running a startup enables politicians to work on communicating their belief system. On the basis, that the politician has high integrity, communicating them is paramount to getting the words out to the voters at large. Similarly, a startup founder faces the same dilemma in growing their startup and also to continue to convince investors to invest. The key according to Peter Drucker, the guru of management is hearing what is unsaid. Politicians are known to be verbose in their communication but often their words fall on deaf ears. Startup founders realise as early, that the key is in what that is not said. Startup founders are economical with their words but generous with their actions. They communicate their passion through their action. Often, we see startup founders mirror their startup raison d’etre in their personal life. A classic example would be the founders of Google; Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Their vision was to empower the world by making information accessible by anyone and their subsequent action was to make the Android accessible to all hardware manufacturers and not to lock it up with an Intellectual Property law.

Fundamentally, when the Greek coined the word, “politics” , it was meant to be a noun which says, “affairs of the citizens”. However, politicians today had turned the word “politics” into a verb, often found in polemic tirade and arguments; unbeknownst to them the word, “polemic” meant war. Politicking has in their actions been turned into a “war of words”.

A startup founder has scarce resources to spend on any other activities but those which would move their startup forward and they are tied to these four raison d’etre;

Make the World a better place

Increase the quality of life

Right a terrible wrong

Prevent the end of something good

Politicians, take note, for although votes are free, voters are far less forgiving than investors who lose their money in 99% of startup which would ultimately fail.

Unique Mindsets

Every person has a different perspective on life that can be unique. This publication wants to portray the unique mindsets and ideas that come from writers.

Ivan Yong Wei Kit

Written by

Author of the book, “Department of Startup, Why Every Fortune 500 Should Have One” published by Business Expert Press New York. Polyglot, fluent in 5 languages.

Unique Mindsets

Every person has a different perspective on life that can be unique. This publication wants to portray the unique mindsets and ideas that come from writers.

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