Karen Coviello, The Circle

What do you look for in a political candidate?

My answers may surprise you. Because they are more about competencies than platforms. What they are like as people, than what they want to do. And they are offered from an inside view of what actually works, to make change happen, to move a community forward.

1) Collaborative.

Are they prepared to learn? Do they understand that they don’t know all the answers? Will they create space for alternate voices? Opinions? The voices that nobody hears? Will they work to ensure that good conversations happen? Will they empower the people that they serve with, to step into their own leadership?

2) Character.

I don’t like politicians that persistently insult others, in a campaign or while in office. If you act like a jerk in a campaign, you’ll be a jerk in office. We sure have a lot of that in this campaign, don’t we, Waterloo! I don’t like politicians who say one thing, then do something else. My preferred candidates will also be people that I know are okay with conflict. That they will stand tall, when the going gets tough. Because, lemme tell ya, conflict is a constant in politics. Like chicken dinners.

3) Problem-solving.

Good political leaders understand that most issues are complex and require thoughtful responses. Lousy politicians think that there are simple answers to the same issues. And the worst politicians constantly nitpick issues, but offer no possible solutions or alternatives. You want political leaders that add to the conversation!

4) Aspirational.

In my mind, politics is about the future. What we can be. What we will accomplish. What we aspire to become! It isn’t about protecting the status quo. It’s about drawing that arc to the future. So, you can bet your last dollar that I will vote for candidates that will take us there. This is when I look at their platforms – to see that they are future-focused.

So, here we are in the home stretch!…