Thursday, January 4, 2007

I’ve heard that people wonder if I have the political skills to be an effective Mayor. That’s a surprising question. I’ve worked directly for elected officials most of my adult life. I’ve studied and written about politics for decades. I got things done with very little formal power. And I often annoyed greatly those who had far more formal power than me.

Yet I kept my job and thrived in my career.

How did I do that?

I think I might know something about politics.

Others who think I might be a great Mayor wonder how well I’ll do as a candidate. They say that what you’re supposed to do to get elected is find out what people want to hear and tell them that. (Personally, I’d rather get beat telling people the truth than win spreading BS.)

Actually, you'd be amazed how similar campaigning is to performance auditing. Using data, interviews and analysis, you figure out what should happen and what is happening and where and why the two are different. Then you decide on a solution to narrow the gap between "is" and "should be" and start trying to sell people on the solution.

My theory is that if they buy my answers, they vote for me.

So far, it's looking as though my theory might well become reality.


Kate said...

Mr. Funkhouser, I'm looking forward to reading more of your thoughts as the mayoral election draws closer.
Also, thank you for your clear and informative writing on Kansas City's political landscape.
Kate H.
Resident of Kansas City, MO

Mark Funkhouser said...

Thank you, Kate. If my posts are somewhat infrequent, I apologize. The rigors of campaigning are quite demanding.