Know Thyself – Einat Wilf speaks to ROI

Einat Wilf spoke in an intimate skills session to ROI participants who are interested in public policy and politics about the very nature of the beast itself, and how to negotiate a world that can be so danger-ridden…“I came to the understanding that people who finished their education did so somewhat crippled, under the impression that the world is waiting.” she said in her opening remarks. “I was surprised and disappointed that the Prime Minister’s office didn’t call me when I graduated and invited me to come right over. Some people spend their whole life wondering where the red carpet is, and sometimes become very bitter adults. And for me the big aha moment was when I said ok, I’m not going to wait. I’m going to go out there and take what my life is supposed to be.”Wilf left the business world and went into politics, explaining that the road to politics isn’t always so clear. “There’s no corporate ladder to climb, and the closer you get to your goal the more you see that luck, personal issues, loyalty and friendship play a role.”One of the things that was a harsh awakening for Wilf was the understanding that “all of your achievements may not really matter,” which she says is “almost insulting.” She decided to take her savings and try to go into politics. “You have to essentially run for office, whether it’s ridiculous or a long shot, the only way to go into it is to actually do it. but to think that it’s twenty or thirty years from here to there is very depressing.”Politics is all about knowing yourself, said Wilf. “Especially today ideological stance is second, next to who you are and what your character is.” You need to become acquainted with your true weaknesses, what temptations are you likely to yield to and face, she said.”What is your price…what will you sell your most cherished principles for because you want something really badly; how do you balance various needs, what are you willing to spend to create a greater good. You need the ability to make the decision and examine it, the truth, not just telling yourself to believe a story. Finding yourself making a decision that surprises you, and wondering what that means about who you are.”“Throughout your life really spend the time on who you are, which will define the kind of politician or leader that you one day might be.” Wilf advised that saying “I want” to be in politics opens you up to failing, but failing publicly and at something you really want. While there are no ways to hide failures, at the end of the day, persistence counts for a lot. “Politics has priorities, and you need to negotiate those with others. Many people view that part of politics as dirty, but that’s the nature of it, about not killing your opponents, accepting that you live in a society where you know that you’re not going to get everything you want.”The most important advice Wilf gave about going into elected office was to put yourself out there. “People hide wanting to go into politics, aren’t willing to admit to themselve or the outside world that this is something that they definitely want. As an observer, politics sometimes looks awful. But if you put yourself out there, you’ll be amazed at how people want to mobilize, not just for politics–put yourself out there and people will respond.”To read the original post.