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Recovering backpacker, Cornwallite at heart, political enthusiast, catalyst, writer, husband, father, community volunteer, unabashedly proud Canadian. Every hyperlink connects to something related directly or thematically to that which is highlighted.

Friday 22 April 2016

Selfishness that Plans Ahead

- Tonya Surman

One of the best teachers I've had in life (though I doubt she knows this) is Leslie Noble.  I learned more from watching how she worked, approached conversations and generally carried herself than I did from most people from the side of politics I was actively involved in.

A key concept she helped bring into clarity for me was the concept of self-interest.  Government Relations, she argued, was the art of helping people see what benefits them in your objectives. Unless you could make your solution part of their solution, you were just another voice in the crowd.

Leslie's goals were not to change the world, mind you - ultimately, the role I saw her in was businesswoman, helping her clients get wins with government.  

Tonya Surman is another smart business woman who understands the importance of motivation.  If people can't see themselves in what you're trying to do, well - there's things directly in front of them that will get more of their attention.

So what of altruism, then?  How does collective benefit, which can seem like the polar opposite of self-interest, become a personal motivation?

And that's the trick, isn't it?