It’s Not A Zero-Sum Game

Recently David Brooks published an article in the New York Times, "The End of the Two-Party System.”

Brooks articulated what I've been trying to get my hands around for the last couple of months. For decades the United States has operated with an abundance mindset. In other words, we can accomplish things on a global scale that are good for America and good for the rest of the world.

As an American I've always believed and still do that we can all gain, and maybe even all win. It's not a zero-sum game. It's a positive some game. Democracy, freedom, and capitalism are good, and when these things are working together, poverty and racism decrease, and education, health and equality increase. Today’s message coming Washington DC is that the world is a zero-sum game. In other words…I win, so good for me. So if you lose, well, that’s good for me too, so too bad for you.

Political party partisanship is intense, the middle class is fading, we are retreating from all things foreign that might benefit us with proper immigration and economic policies in place.

The prevailing paradigm is that the world is a dangerous place, and only America has the market cornerd on smart thinking. It's scarcity mentality versus abundance mentality Which means that there's never enough to go around. This is, by the way a faulty belief system, but if you keep saying it in enough places and often enough, there enough gullible people who are going to think it’s true. Shame on those who don’t have enough faith, insight, creativity, and strength of purpose to change this.

I'm bewildered and disappointed that the Republicans have given up on the pillars of conservatism, and have no backbone left to speak truth to power. Ronald Reagan must be rolling over in his grave. And I'm greatly disappointed that many Democrats are "drinking the Kool-Aid" on the scarcity mentality and zero-sum game perspective.

Both parties feel compelled to pound on each other, and to what end? This has nothing to do with the best political thinking of American history. It's simply incompatible with what made or will #MakeAmericaGreat.

I'm ready for a new, bold party of people who can think, can hold opposing opinions in their head without exploding, can debate and maintain their principles, can disagree without being disagreeable, and still respect their opposition…for the greater good of our nation. And when this happens why can’t it also be for the greater good of our world. Both are possible.

In business, nonprofits, churches, and schools the fact is that new starts are often more effective and offer more hope and possibility than turn-arounds and bail outs ever could. New starts require new leadership, new paradigms, innovative and appreciative approaches, transformative thinking. Bail outs leave old paradigm leaders in place to try to tweak, and problem solve and whine about change, and long for the past. This doesn’t improve the situation.

I'm ready for something new. How about you? It's time for us to re-write our story. So let’s get in the game…the positive sum game. It will change the ending of your story to one that is more powerful, meaningful and filled with hope.


This blog shares perspectives on how you have the ability to create new story endings that are meaningful, powerful and filled with hope. I facilitate culture changing processes that help organizations achieve greater impact. Also, I provide leadership coaching to help executives and aspiring leaders become the fullest expression of who they’re intended to be.

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