OPINION: But Why?   

The local government council elections will be held on Saturday, 28 March.

I was chatting with a candidate for the upcoming council elections and I asked “why are you running for council’’? I got the usual spiel about “being a good local citizen, who had been involved with several clubs, had worked for the public service. “etc.

I corrected her “they’re your qualifications, WHY are you running for council”

“Because I want to give back to my community”

“But why?”

This is where I got a blank stare and that strange head tilt that puppies give you when they don’t understand what you’re doing as a human.

With the local council elections just around the corner and with plenty of incumbent’s running against a lot of new nominees, we should all be asking WHY?

WHY are new roads important? WHY is bringing a budget back to surplus so important, WHY are you running?

Being a councillor in our local council is a thankless task, someone is always going to be unhappy with whatever decision you make. The average wage of a councillor is between 60 and 70 thousand dollars per year, most councillors already have other jobs or businesses to run, so why the extra work?

Is that extra money worth all the extra pressure, scrutiny, criticism and time away from friends and family? Or is it for purely selfish reasons? I’m sure there are one or two candidates running for political point-scoring, revenge or for their own personal gain.

Simon Sinek is a British-American motivational speaker and the author of five books, including “Start with Why”. He says most people/businesses have their goals back to front, as do our politicians.

Most candidates will say something like What, How, Why.

What I’m going to do, how I’m going to do it and why I’m going to do it.

According to Sinek all great leaders inspire action by working back to front.

Why, How and What.

What we really need to be asking our elected officials whether it be local, state or federal is WHY? Not how or what.

Why are you doing this?

How are you going to do that?

What will the outcome be?

Sinek says that customers/voters don’t buy what you do, but why you do it.

In the coming weeks, there are several Q&A’s with local councillors in town halls and meetings places. If you get a chance to ask a question or even get chatting face to face, don’t ask what they are going to do, or how they are going to do it, ask them why.

Why are you running for council?

“Because I want to give back to my community”

But why?




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