The Iowa presidential caucuses are in a few weeks, and the political machine is in full frenzy.  This weekend, in -22 below wind chill, a canvasser came to my door to solicit my support for a candidate.

I was initially impressed with the dedication that the candidate engendered to inspire someone to go out in that kind of weather.  Then the person opened their mouth.  

She asked whether I was going to go to the caucus.  Yes.  

She asked if I was going to support her candidate.  When I said that I wasn’t sure because of X concern, she retorted with a fact that I positively know is empirically wrong.

I expressed another concern and she said: “Well, it’s only for four years.”  Seriously?  

Before departing, she was going to give me literature out of her bag, but then realized she had run out and had nothing to leave with me.  She is out in the Arctic freeze, with the express purpose of soliciting support, and comes with an empty bag?

I know that the ineptitude of this volunteer has no bearing whatsoever on whether the person she supports would be an effective president. But it still feels like it does.

Is your front line helping you or harming you?  As you rise in leadership, it become more frequent that the majority of your clientele sees your staff instead of you. Take steps to ensure that they cast you in a positive light instead of in a cloud.

— beth triplett

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