The Reelection debate has quieted down a little bit recently in Panama – as political parties finish up their primaries, headed into the 2019 elections. But, what I am noticing is that within the political parties, we are still seeing a lot of “reruns”, rather than new blood.
So this idea “No a la re-elección” – while it’s popular with the average person on the streets, does not seem to truly have taken flight within the main parties.
Looking from the outside in – I recognise a pattern that comes up often when dealing with clients. You ask the client “what do you want?” and they proceed to provide you with a list of “I don’t want“.
I didn’t ask “what don’t you want” – I asked “what do you want?”
Because, unfortunately, until we can clearly enunciate what it is that we DO want, we are just going to continue getting more of what we don’t want!
So… I am going to attempt to enunciate what I do want to see in our publicly elected officials in Panama.
I will remind the reader – this in PanUtopia – an alternative reality – what could be in a Utopian view of Panama.
So… come sit down with me… grab your cup of tea or coffee… and let’s dream & idealise for a moment what that perfect Panama might look like!
To start with, I want politicians with coherence & alignment – you might think a better word for this is integrity – where their passions & purpose drive their creation of solutions, and these are followed through with concerted actions.
Is that really too much to ask?
I don’t think so! Hey, neuroscience says that it can be done!
Of course, that presupposes that we are talking about emotional intelligence – politicians that are actually self-aware and have self-control! They don’t freak out, shut down or stone wall when faced with obstacles to their plans.
But to be realistic, what I really want is heart-lead politicians!
I don’t mean all emotional – wear your heart on your sleeve – politicians. No. I mean that they are truly connected with their compassion (self & others) and connected from the heart (not their pocket) with the community.
This means that they listen to the dreams and desires of their communities – the ideals & values. It means that they are really “chunking down” on what are the values that their community holds dear, and then using those values as a guiding light for their decision-making!
They have to establish trust & connection with their communities – understanding the wants and desires that drive the communities that they serve.
When I say I want a heart-lead politician – I mean I want someone with wise compassion. Not a people-pleaser or a yes-man – someone that has clear boundaries established by values and dreams. That recognises that priorities may have to be established and not everyone will be in agreement with those priorities. But whose passion for following the dreams, aspirations, purpose and values of the community drive what they are working on!
This person will need to be able to listen to criticism and handle being in the hot-seat. And I mean listen to criticism. Not take it personally and get all defensive. Not brush it off and ignore it – but be open to listening to it, because perhaps there is something in there to be gathered and learned! To respond to criticism, rather than to react!
Did I mention emotional intelligence?
I want a politician that accepts responsibility – that doesn’t play the “blame game” and does not justify & deny. Who doesn’t use smoke screens & mirrors to confuse the crowds. If they make a mistake, I want them to be humble – to accept their mistake and acknowledge it – and then look at what repairs will need to be made.
I want a creative politicians
And by this, I mean I want them to put all their creative and problem-solving abilities at the service of their purpose & passion. To allow their compassion & connection to others to indicate where solutions are required, and then to sit down with their teams and brain-storm how to bring these into effect.
I want a strong team leader that can guide others through the mental imagery of the creative process – connecting dreams & visions with reasoning, analysis, synthesis & cognition.
To set up a 5-year plan with vision & goals – and then to connect with their communities and interested parties (including the businesses and the construction industry) to make these plans & goals happen! To take into account the concerns that the communities have and also the concerns of the business backbone – and then to think outside the box to find creative solutions to the issues and obstacles.
I want politicians with balanced perspectives – that understand that there are always going to be competing interests in a community – but that through their creativity can integrate views and find solutions that generate the greatest good! Someone who brings to the table effective decision-making & problem-solving.
I want someone that knows that sometimes the right question is “who”, rather than “what”. A person that recognises that they personally don’t have to have all of the answers – but rather that sometimes they should ask “who” – who is the right person for this project? Who should I delegate this to?
And, finally, I want courageous politicians.
It’s all fine and well to have heart – and be lead by compassion. It’s wonderful to allow that compassion to guide your creativity – to be the north-star for how you solve problems — but unless they are courageous, unless they dare to step out and actually put into motion all of these ideas… we will still have nothing!
So, I want these politicians that take action, that are deeply connected to their internal sense of security & safety, and that align their actions with their compassion & creativity! I want to see full mobilization – willpower and quiet courage – from a relaxed and calm disposition.
Someone who is not worried about self-preservation – in terms of getting re-elected next term – but rather someone that is simply keeping their promises to the community. Who limits their hunger from becoming greed. Who does not allow their aversions to become fear.
I understand… there are no perfect outcomes.
There will, inevitably, be mistakes and learning opportunities.
But I want someone that is open to learning from the failures – that is willing to communicate these situations.
So… you ask… what do I want from my politicians?
- compassion – lead from the heart
- creativity – putting all their intelligence & ideas at the service of their compassion
- courageous – to actually put it all into action
And then, as a result of these 3 prime characteristics – I want
I warned you… this is PanUtopia…
But I also know that these skills and way of being can be learned! So, knowing that in the primaries half of the politicians that are being elected are “more of the same” – I have a new wish… I wish all of these politicians would get some coach training, so that they could LEARN how to be lead by their hearts!