I just received one of those forwarded emails about how to fix the US Congress. In case you haven’t had the opportunity of seeing some version of it, good for you; but here is the version I received (skip down if you don’t need to be bored).
Congressional Reform Act of 2011
1. Term Limits.
12 years only, one of the possible options below..
A. Two Six-year Senate terms
B. Six Two-year House terms
C. One Six-year Senate term and three Two-Year House terms
2. No Tenure / No Pension. A Congressman collects a salary while in
office and receives no pay when they are out of office.
3.. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security.
All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social
Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social
Security system, and Congress participates with the American people.
4. Members of Congress can purchase their own retirement plans, just as
all other Americans may do.
5. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional
pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.
6. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in
the same health care system as the American people.
7. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American
8. All contracts with past and present Congressmen are void effective
1/1/2012. The American people did not make this contract with
Congressmen. Congressmen made all these contracts for themselves.
Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers
envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their term(s),
then go home and back to work.
If each person contacts a minimum of twenty people then it will only
take three days for most people (in the U.S. ) to receive the message.
Maybe it is time.
THIS IS HOW YOU FIX CONGRESS!!!!! If you agree with the above, pass it
on. If not, just delete
Now since the person who sent it to me decided not to BCC the list I sent back the following reply:
Wouldn’t this be the smarter thing to do:
Send this to your local Congressmen (daily until they respond) and ask them to defend why they don’t agree with this?
I receive these types of emails all the time yet no one has the balls to spearhead the cause. So passing it around and doing nothing makes us all as lame as our Congress.
So maybe I’m not Mr. Popular this morning with a whole bunch of people, but that is the reality. It’s not only the reality about how we may or may not feel about our political system, but it also applies to organizations. Employees do this all the time. They talk around the problems and issues; not to the problems and issues (if they even are issues.) They talk about people; not to people.
A long, long time ago I worked for a Corporate Travel Service. Our Controller, to put it mildly, was clueless. I felt like he was the Pied Piper and I was one of the rats being led to my doom with each move he made. He gave us busy work; things to do that were in complete opposite of the direction the company was heading. He was trying to implement ideas that had seen their day. Employee morale was at an ultimate low. Employee Engagement? While not a buzzword at the time we were clearly disengaged.
But we did the right thing and went to him first; expressed our concerns and gave him an option to defend/argue them and educate us on his decisions. Sometimes directions are changed and not communicated to the organization. Other times people are taking unconventional approaches to move the organization forward. He ignored us.
We ultimately did what needed to be done and went to his boss, with all of our concerns/facts/ideas to fix. Yes, we feared retaliation. Yes, we were worried how this might backfire. But we were UNITED; as a business unit. We recognized that talking to each other was unhealthy, unproductive and just plain stupid.
He “resigned to pursue other opportunities” 5 days later. We later found out that we did not open the floodgate; but I guess you could say we were the final nail in the coffin. Senior Execs were already on top of this.
Talking to others does nothing. Talking to the cause of your pain and frustrations is a much smarter thing to do – for everyone. There is no loser; and then the right plan of attack can be assembled.
That’s how you fix any broken organization.