3 Ways You Can Fulfill Campaign Promises


It’s the election season and our inboxes, mailboxes, voice-mailboxes and TV boxes are filled with people who are making campaign promises. Whichever party they represent they want out vote and they are promising us something about the future if we elect them.

Leaders do the same thing. When someone is a leader it’s their responsibility for long term and not just the short-term outcomes. One of the ways leaders do this is to make commitments for the future—campaign promises.

Bottom line, leaders must learn to fulfill these campaign promises.

Leaders need to understand that the promises they make provide the framework for trust and teams to grow. They need to keep their promises to the people they lead, even if it means personal risk and sacrifice. Broken promises lead to broken trust and team growth, as a result, is stunted or non-existent.

How can a leader make sure they are making solid promises that they are not just whimsical sound bytes so they are “elected” or “stay in office?”

First, they need to spend time in the present. They have to be able to see the gaps between what is happening now and what could happen in the future. Steve Jobs and his team at Apple realized people wanted easy access to music. And, they also saw that the real issue was people wanted music in their pocket. Ease and mobility future need led to the first iPod. Understanding the present led to a campaign promise that sustained the future.

Second, they need to talk to customers. Leaders can’t be so analytical that they forget the person who actually takes money out and buys something. Listening to customers gives leaders insight, vision, and possibilities especially when that information married with a deep understanding of the present.

Third, don’t be afraid to risk. So many leaders want to hedge their bets. They straddle the line so they aren’t really committed to a future vision. They figure if they don’t make any promises, then they won’t have to break them later on as the future unfolds or the market changes or whatever reason.

Helping your people have vision for the future is imperative for any leader. Helping them work toward what you’ve promised helps galvanize trust and your team. You campaign promises may not evolve for a myriad of reasons. Take ownership, learn and dive in again. Chances are your team will fully support you because you stuck by your earlier promises and they trust you.

You can fulfill your campaign promises as a leader. And, if there are any politicians reading this, you can too.



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Trust is the winsome wedding of faith and hope.

Brennan Manning

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