February 06, 2014
What’s the problem? Vice President Biden wants to get support to spend more on infrastructure. That’s an easy pitch right? Well, here’s how Joe put it during a speech in Philadelphia earlier today:
If you blindfolded someone and took them at two o’clock in the morning into the airport at Hong Kong and said, "Where do you think you are," they’d say, "This must be in America, this is a modern airport"…If I took you in blindfolded and took you to La Guardia airport in New York, you must think, "I must be in some third world country." I’m not joking!
I really wish you had been joking Joe…In all of the work we do, we find that it’s POSITIVE language that motivates, not NEGATIVE. Bashing something, or someone, to get your point across—even if it's true—is never well-received. Sure, we have all looked at La Guardia and thought it could use some sprucing up (I mean really NYC, this is the best you can do?), but negative language doesn’t motivate support. It just makes the person doing it—in this case our Vice President—look…bad.
What we think he should have done instead? Focus on the positive. Paint a picture of the benefits and outcomes rather than focusing negatively on the problem.
So, sounds easy. But how should he have done it? If I were advising the Vice President, I would tell him to focus on two key benefits: the jobs created in rebuilding the airport and the better travel experience for Americans and our guests. Something like…
Have you been to an airport or a train station lately and thought, "We can do better than this?" I have too. And, I know we can do something about this. And create jobs in the process. Let’s invest in infrastructure. Let’s make sure when Americans and our guests arrive in our cities they see the great country that we are. Let’s put our best foot forward. Let’s make sure that Americans have the ability to get around on highways that are well thought out and minimize traffic. Let’s work together to find ways to improve our train system so that our citizens can get from one place to another in cost effective and efficient ways. Let’s do this.
Sound better? We think so too…