The job of properly motivated politicians is to serve their constituents. All of them. As I campaign for Oregon State Representative from House District 53, I’ve been pondering the question of how to serve everyone. Since I’m campaigning for a state office, the job requires serving not only everyone in HD 53, but also everyone in Central Oregon and everyone in Oregon.
That would be a daunting task if everyone agreed on everything, but since it seems like we’re in a season where everyone pretty much disagrees with everyone else on just about everything, the job appears even more challenging. But then, I’ve never known anyone who agreed with me entirely (that would be scary). I’m certain you will not agree with me on everything, and that’s OK. Come to think of it, I’ve never known anyone who I agreed with entirely on everything, either. So perhaps, even though this season may be more emotionally charged than others, the issue of how to serve everyone when everyone disagrees with me, and also disagrees with everyone else, is actually a normal state of affairs.
This dilemma has certainly characterized my 30-year career in mergers and acquisitions (M&A). My job has been to represent clients and negotiate deals to successful closure when everyone involved and affected by the transaction has a different, sometimes wildly different agenda from everyone else. So here are ten lessons from a career in deal making that I’m confident will help in the world of politics.
Everyone can be well served, regardless of differences, if we remain rightly motivated to seek the highest and best outcomes for the people of our region and state. Nobody said it would be easy. But it is worth it.