Early today, I was asked a very good and relevant question in a Facebook group, and it reminded me of a post sitting in my draft folder waiting for a free moment to complete. The question was "Can you tell me some rules or philosophy you live your life by?". So thanks to MV's question... here is a little bit of me, musing about me.
Soft Skills or Hard?
Where does thinking, reasoning & attitude fit into the why to or why not to elect someone as a representative?
Does how a person think, and their view on life, affect how they serve as an elected representative? I believe they do. The same way they affect work, family, and everything a person does. Hard skills and experiences matter when it comes to serving a constituency well, but it many ways it is the soft skills that tip the balance to the positive, or the negative, when it comes to the decision making process.
An elected representative helps make choices and decisions that yield outcomes. Outcomes that have a profound effect on the day-to-day lives of constituents. Monday, October 22 is voting day. Municipalities will soon see a new slate of elected representatives whose job it is to make sure our day to day lives run smoothly, while working to maximize our future wellbeing. There will be familiar faces, and new faces. As voters, it is important we understand what makes those we are voting for tick, not just where they stand on a few key issues.
So, in the spirit of full transparency, here is a bit about how I think, approach life in general, and how it relates to public service
What makes me tick --
Who I am and how I approach life is pretty simple and listed here in no particular order.
How I approach life:
- Look for the positive and keep an open mind
When you look for the positives, it becomes possible to find creative solutions and compromises that are impossible to find with a closed mind. Few things in life are 100% bad or 100% good. Yes, it sucks when something isn't working -- but in the process of fixing or replacing, the opportunity for positive change does surface if your mind is open to looking for it. Not looking for the positives is how we find ourselves in the negative loop of trying to do things the same way over and over looking for different results.
- Critical Thinking 24/7
Avoiding dependence on old premises, assertions, and ambitions is a useful lifelong habit. A critical thinking mindset involves listening, watching, learning -- all good habits. Looking beyond the surface from different angles, verifying information and sources, looking outside normal circles for new, and possibly better options, leads to better decisions and outcomes.
- Embrace innovation whenever possible
Keeping one eye outside the box generally makes it possible to be proactive successfully. We all love our comfort zones, but our comfort zones often hold us back. An early adoption approach isn't always the best option -- but rarely is it a good idea to be last to incorporate a tested and proven innovation. Progress isn't always easy, but stagnation is never good.
- Listen, learn, include, mentor, always respect
The concept of leaving no one behind or unheard is a life imperative in my world. In everything I do, listening, learning, mentoring, and offering respect, is top of mind. Whether we are talking family, business, community -- or public service as ward 4 councillor, when it comes to building consensus and moving forward, these key elements are the most empowering of life skills.
When my wife and I opened the Laughing Demon Gastropub brand, we thought long and hard of what we wanted to say about the community we were building. "We are all searching for someone whose demons play well with ours. " fit the bill perfectly.
At the end of the day, what we want is for people to listen and really hear us. We don't want people to assume, or respond to us with what they think we want to hear.
How does all this relate to serving in public office as Ward Councillor?
- That means when is comes to social infrastructure issues such as poverty and affordable housing, the environment, the local economy, and providing sufficient, easily accessible public services, I can appreciate how far we've come and what we have, but I'm prepared to look for new options and fight for better for Ward 4 and all of Kitchener. The same hold true for hard infrastructure in all our communities.
- It means I don't believe that at City Hall, we have to do things exclusively the way we always have, and I do believe that inviting new voices to the table is a good thing. We don't turn our backs on what is working, but where things could be better, there is no downside to thinking outside the box and bringing in new expertise from our communities and beyond.
Ward 4, without an incumbent, is poised to send a new fresh voice, to engage with council with fresh eyes, fresh ears, fresh thinking, and a willingness to help build proactive, productive consensus around the table as we look for new and better solutions to difficult problems, inefficiencies, and areas of inadequate public service or programs.
We can do much better in many areas. But that is a topic for another post. For now, I hope I have given you a little more insight into who I am, and how I will approach the job of serving our community.
On Monday, October 22, I hope you will vote Wes Hill for Ward 4 City Council.
Thanks for stopping by,
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