Current Score: Russia 1 – US 0
In the news most everyday lately is talk about the Russia investigation relating to last year’s election and especially lately, about Trump’s firing of FBI Director Comey who headed an investigation into that issue. Some thoughts from my perspective.
I have been coaching entrepreneurs and others for the last seventeen years or so and I competed in sports when I was younger with a passion. I have a lot of experience with competition and mindsets that work and mindsets that don’t.
The fact is, Russia kicked our butts last year relative to our election, and Coach Putin and his teammates are no doubt high fiving each other and raising their vodka glasses in celebration. Okay, I can take defeat, this isn’t the first time I have been on a team that took a beating and it won’t be the last. And I don’t hate the Russians for playing to win. They are people too and they, along with everyone else in the world, like to win (even if it means playing by rules I don’t agree with).
In my opinion, however, our current mindset as a culture in the US today is not what I would call kickass – rather it is more like who can we blame for our problems, it shouldn’t have happened. Of course it should have happened – our opponent was better than us. It feels a little like the offense of a football team blaming the defensive for the loss and visa versa. News flash: the team loses and wins together and blame doesn’t change that.
Many years ago I studied martial arts and one of the first things my instructor taught me was to bow to a competitor both before and after a match. The intention, among other things, is to thank my competitor for what they have taught me. In other words, acknowledge that my competitor is also a kind of instructor helping me to improve my own performance, and for that I should thank them and honor their efforts and accompishments in improving their own performance (even if I am completely at odds with their ethics).
So, I bow to the Russians, say “nice game”, and move on.
Having said that and gone through the formalities of trying to hold my head high and be a good sport after such a drubbing, it’s time for a U.S. team meeting to review the tapes and prepare for the next game. And as with most of the people who have coached me, that begins with an acknowledgement that a game was played and we lost (not a hoax), also known as a reality check. I can’t ever remember a coach telling me that a game we clearly lost was a hoax or to pretend that it didn’t really happen – ever.
On the contrary, my coaches and my approach to coaching has a lot to do with personal development, rather than pretending that I or my clients are so good that we don’t need such developing. In my coaching practice I have never found that ignoring or denying the facts of what happened in a game (athletic, business, or other), is good preparation for the next game or more immediately, good for my own personal growth.
So, my thought on the campaign hacking issue is this: let’s do the best we can to see what actually happened (independent, factual investigation – review the tapes), and then develop new strategies to prepare for the next game (next election, etc.).
In Dreambounded Leader language that means: declaring the election meddling experience complete (game over), and getting down to the business of the facts of what happened including which players on our side did well and who didn’t. How do we do that?
We have massive numbers of hard working, highly competitive, very bright, highly creative, extensively experienced people in the US along with almost endless resources – aka we have a great team who already know how to play at a high level. They/we also know how to review the Monday morning tapes and get ready for the next game, and to do so with integrity and without disparaging each other (regardless of whether we think our opponents played with integrity or not).
In short, two huge issues here from my perspective: 1) our leader (coach Trump) is pretending that the Russian team didn’t kick our butts in the last election i.e. he thinks we (actually he) won that encounter or there was no game at all, and 2) our leader is not eager to review what happened for the benefit of both his own personal and our cultural growth, so we can learn from the schooling that V. Putin so effectively provided us.
We have a fantastic team here in the U.S. but we are looking like a bunch of amateurs right now in my opinion. Come on Coach Trump and assistant coaches, get real and do your job, or let someone else do it! We are a team here and potentially a very good one – let’s act like it!