Under promise, over deliver.
In the business world, it is an axiom embraced by most, if not all, successful enterprises.
In politics however, the reverse seems to be true.
On Saturday, Prince Rupert will have to make probably its most important decision in decades or, as has been argued, maybe ever.
Voters will head to the polls to decide the mayor and council that will either lead or impede what could be the biggest economic boom ever felt in the City of Rainbows.
During the municipal campaign there have been some dubious, even head-scratching, promises made. Many of these promises fall outside of the realm of a municipal council’s jurisdiction. Regardless, these promises have been made with one goal in mind, and delivering upon that promise is certainly not that goal, getting your vote is.
That will be the biggest question voters will have to decide for themselves as they prepare to mark their ballot — will candidate X actually be able to deliver?
Noticeably, for the most part, the incumbent candidates have been quick to not make the big promises, while some of the challengers are wanting to write big cheques that a council just can’t possibly cash.
The incumbents know they have a track record and one would be hard pressed to say that Prince Rupert City Council has over-delivered in the past several years. The newcomers, well, some get it, some don’t.
Although written some 20 years ago, author and business columnist Tom Peters hit the proverbial nail on the head with his essay entitled: Under promise, over deliver.
“With competition heating up in every market, firms are forced to promise the moon to get an order, especially that first order. Right?
“Wrong. With an explosion of competitors, many of them new and without track records, reliability, rather than overly aggressive promises, is the most valuable strategic edge, especially for the mid- to long- haul. While getting faster at responding to customers is imperative, living up to commitments has never been worth more.”
Peters’ business analysis couldn’t be more appropriate and pertinent to the political climate we have in Prince Rupert today.
Will the candidates do what they say they will do after they sit down at the council table? Can they do what they say they will do?
When it all comes down to it on Saturday, Prince Rupert voters have to make a business decision: Who (that’s the candidates) can provide customers (that’s you, the voter) with the best product and service?
Or conversely, voters will have to make a management decision.
Who do you want running your business? It is after all, your City of Prince Rupert.
One thing is for certain, whomever we elect on Saturday, those sitting around that table can impact whether or not this City of Rainbows will discover its pot of gold.
Our only hope is that they deliver on all of this promise.