Someone once asked me “Why don’t you enter electoral politics?”
The first rule of succeeding at anything is to know what you can do and equally importantly, what you CAN’T (or WON’T) do. One must be crystal clear about both aspects if what one takes up is to be satisfying.
The first rule in electoral politics is that you must be willing to say things people want to hear, even if you don’t personally believe in it. aka Lie.
An analyst, by definition, must be willing to see all data points, no matter how anemic it is to personal views.
All my life I’ve been an analyst of sorts - be it as a professional manager or as an entrepreneur. Both these roles ‘spot the gap’ and capitalise on it to build the sale or the organisation or the business.
However, since my retirement, I’ve been unfailingly attracted by current affairs and politics. But my core competency lies not in the electoral segment but in the administration of it - after all, I have a degree called Master of ADMINISTRATION.
Change has two aspects in politics - (a) electoral and (b) research + administration (Delivery).
Change does require that the change agent has to be able to sell it to get elected. But that “talent” for misleading people, only to later swing by towards the ‘change’, by “soft talking” bordering on lies is a necessary “talent” for electoral politics today.
Increasingly, people recognise this in politicians and are rejecting it. But they have little to choose from.
So far. Anna Hazare and possibly Aravind Kejriwal attracted the following they did in IAC is an indicator of this. Narendra Modi too seems to have captured this within the constraints of being in a National party. (You know what that means!)
However, with the right kind of “Think Tank" the (electoral) politician can lead others by yards.
However, an oxymoron as it may seem, the politician needs the talent to manage Talent!
Trouble is, most politicians think they know better than anybody else and will not risk the possibility that they are upstaged by the Talent. That’s the inherent paranoia that all politicians have.
It requires a special talent to manage Talent. A sure way to lose Talent is to compete with it when its on your side :)