Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Art of Compromise

The recent spectacle in Washington D.C. over raising the debt ceiling leads to some obvious questions:  Why have we let compromise become such a dirty word?  Why is it acceptable for powerful people to demonize their opponents?  And why have graceful negotiation tactics (sometimes known as “win-win”) all but disappeared from our political scene?

These are not just idle musings.  The ramifications of the recent debt ceiling fiasco are significant to all of us who invest or borrow money (i.e., all of us).  In fact, GWC’s financial advisors were even sharing regular updates on the possible impacts of this on our very conservatively invested reserves.   This simply illustrates just how deep this issue cuts across our financial universe.

Everyone in business knows that it is very rare that one side gets everything it wants.  In fact, those of us who lead businesses know that we cannot demand everything we want (at least not for very long) from customers, suppliers or employees without running the business into the ground.  GWC is constantly managing the delicate balance of providing for our Dealer Partners, looking out for the best interest of our customers, and supporting our employees.  We understand that no business is healthy when one of its key segments is weak.

Perhaps that’s a lesson that needs to be clearly articulated to those we’ve elected to lead our country.