#280: Success Comes From Lobbying

In the Lobby

Here’s my favorite definition of politics, from Merriam-Webster: Politics is “the art or science of government.”

Why is it my favorite? Because it not only applies to countries, counties and municipalities. It also applies to organizations. The art of leadership might get all the attention, but if a leader cannot govern….

And surprise, surprise. Lobbying is a huge part of governing well. But only if those who lobby know how to lobby well.

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Once upon a time lobbying was not a naughty word. Lobbying was actually quite constructive. I know, because I worked for a successful firm that encouraged lobbying.

Let’s be clear about lobbying. A lobby is the entrance area to a building. And lobbying is the attempt to influence a decision-maker’s point of view. Put lobby and lobbying together and what do we see?

Yes! That lobbying is best done in the open. Not behind closed doors.

Furthermore, the word lob means to throw. Thus lobbying means to throw ideas at someone. It does not mean to pressure someone into changing a way of thinking.

In the successful firm I mentioned, executives lobbied brazenly to influence an upcoming decision. But then something amazing happened.

After the executive team reached a decision, those who lobbied like crazy against the decision now worked like crazy to make it a success.

Meaning? Lobbying is only effective when those who lobby know when to stop lobbing.

Welcome to my side of the nonsense divide.