Speaking the Truth

Someone sent me this link today. As I watched it, all I could think about was wishing we had politicians — many many of them — willing to be as courageous and straightforward and honest as her. She seems to be from Canada and I hope I have the chance to vote for her one day.


What does it take to become a leader?

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, the psychologist responsible for bringing the concept of “Flow” into our awareness shares his viewpoint on this question:

A leader will find it difficult to articulate a coherent vision unless it expresses his core values, his basic identity…one must first embark on the formidable journey of self-discovery in order to create a vision with authentic soul.

Those of you who read this blog will know that this resonates with what I’ve been saying as well.

If you can connect with your own deepest concerns, your values, and what keeps you energized, you will communicate that energy to others. They, in turn, will be more likely to connect with what you’re saying and offering, and to be similarly energized by their connection to your energy.

If you aren’t connected to these elements of yourself, you will lack that passion for what you’re saying and no connection will be established.

Which would you rather have? What do you do to promote and maintain that connection to yourself first?

6 Positive Guidelines from Michaëlle Jean, Canada’s Governor General

Michaëlle Jean, the Governor General of Canada, was interviewed by Aaron Wherry for the 14Jan 2008 Maclean’s magazine: Canadians Get Their Very Own Oprah (although I was disappointed to find the article about a leading Canadian woman a bit buried on the Maclean’s site) . In this article, she shared some of her strategies for not being distressed over early public commentary and concerns about her appropriateness for the role. I was so impressed by the “psychological rightness” and positivity of what she had to say that I wanted to share it with you. Here’s what she said: Continue reading

A Positive Campaign Pays Off: Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard

On 24 November 2007, Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard were elected as Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister of Australia.

This was hardly expected. The on-line Progress Magazine described the surprise:

…”it has been argued that Howard simply outstayed his welcome, had grown tired and voters were attracted by a dynamic and fresh alternative. However, on its own this explanation ignores the considerable forces that stood in the conservatives’ favour. Australia is experiencing unprecedented prosperity on the back of a commodities boom and the growth of India and China. In spite of some high profile policy failures, the government was perceived as competent. Therefore, analysis needs to turn to what Rudd did to engineer this stunning victory. “

One of the frequently commented on elements of their campaign was that they ran it in a very “positive” way. Why might this and their communication strategies have created a momentum for them that led to such an unexpected result? Continue reading

A Positive Vision for Women in Politics: What Would It Take?

 What do you think it would take to create a way for women to aspire to being a politician and confident that they won’t have to change their style to a culture of “maleness”? (And what does that mean, anyway?)
Bethan Jenkins, the youngest female Member of the National Assembly for Wales wrote an interesting post in the Our Kingdom blog addressing these questions: We Need a Positive Vision of Women in Politics

One of the enlightening points she makes is that the statistics show that women are highly unlikely to be elected more often without changes to the party processes (my emphasis added throughout quotes): Continue reading

Women Blogging on Politics

Catherine Morgan has been creating a list of women who blog about politics — and she’s up to 200 and counting!

To see her list, pop over to her Informed Voters blog.

Following the creation of her list, she started a whole new blog called the Political Voices of Women to give women political bloggers another platform to be heard.

Both of these are American, but how nice to see the generation of some momentum to hearing the voices of women.

And I love her rationale for her blogging:

It’s also a way of giving myself a voice, rather than just sitting back and watching politics and my opinion go by.

I think too often women get trapped into thinking that they have to have something Brilliant to say or they have to more eloquent or it doesn’t count if it’s not a book or….so many of the other fears we have about speaking out. But blogs are an easy way to say whatever’s on your mind, without having to be too formal or academic or polished. Try browsing some of the blogs Catherine lists, make comments where you have a reaction, and just generally practice saying what’s on your mind. It gets easier as you go…

Thanks Catherine!

What to Wear: Does it Matter?

I have to say that I’m posting this having a history of a very conflicted relationship with clothes.


And I get very frustrated when I want to read about a woman candidate’s political vision and what I get is a blow-by-blow of what she was wearing and how her hair was done. Or not.

But I also think it’s up to us to protest these kinds of comments when they are irrelevant to the issues being discussed. How often do we give feedback saying that this is not what we are interested in hearing about in the middle of a political discussion?

But I did find Maria Puente’s article in USA Today kind of interesting: Style Becomes a Real Issue in ’08 Presidential Race. Continue reading