Romney keeps making mistakes as he doesn’t know how he feels.

I always enjoy Dan Ariely’s research on human behaviour. I always learn a lot, and I find myself second guessing much of what I know. His latest book is all about lies and dishonesty.

One key issue with lying is that as soon as you lie, you now have to remember the lie. This means you can’t speak from your core beliefs and mistakes are made. I believe that Mitt Romney has said whatever he wants people to hear, and at this point doesn’t know up from down.

When the campaign makes a mistake, surely the quickly correct, right? Nope.

A normal campaign follows the practice of correcting or removing false claims. But Mitt Romney’s campaign isn’t just another campaign. It’s lies are not detracted. They aren’t going to let fact checkers get in their way (and thus FACTS).

Some fun ones:

The commercial showing Obama saying: “If we keep talking about the economy we are going to lose”

Of course they left out the fact that he was quoting someone! the actual quote is: “Senator McCain’s campaign said, and I quote ‘If we keep talking about the economy we are going to lose’

And Romney have the balls to say that this is OK!

The inspector general said that contracts were steared to friends and familyNot true, not corrected.

Obama quietly ended the work requirement, gutting welfare reform” nuts”.

This has gotten so bad that the campaign staff now has a sweeper role, where the y come along and take back his quotes after he says them.

Mitt Romney on Univision: “I have not met with Chris Coback” (the Papers Please guy from Arizona)

Campaign later says: “Romney has met with him, and he is a campaign advisor”

Romney on 60 minutes: “I am in favor of abortion being legal in the case of rape, incest, and the health and life of the mother”

Campaign: Erm, nope… doesn’t support the health one.

Romney on Meet the Press: “I am not getting rid of healthcare reform, [I will keep some of it] e.g. to make sure that if you have pre existing conditions you are taken care of.”

Campaign: Erm, nope again. He doesn’t want a law that requires that. Same red line on Iran as Obama? Nope, he didn’t mean that too. Does the Obama campaign skirt the truth? Of course. But this isn’t in the same ballpark.

Some have said that politians trick themselves into thinking “I just need to win this game and then I will do what is right!” as a justification. I don’t think that Romney is evil, I just think he is wrong.

Making Good Choices

One of the areas of parenting that you often get into is making sure that you talk to your kids about the choices they make. It isn’t that they are bad,it is that they sometimes make bad choices.

When looking back on my post on People, Measurement, and Improvement I realized that the meta issue is making good choices.

If I can strive to make good choices every day then the rest can pretty much fall out of that. One of the important “good choices” is around hiring great people and keeping them well fed. Another is choosing which battles to fight (and which ones not too). There are choices being made all day long, in every aspect of your life (e.g. eating that piece of candy).

How do you know if you have made good choices? You have to measure and reflect. How else can you learn so when the next choice comes along… you use intuition and data and run from there.

Who knew that the constant “Sam,great choice on playing nice with your brother!” applies through-out your life.

Success Pyramid: People, Measurement, Improvement

People over process. I have heard that often, but then have seen so much focus on the process.

Agile. Son of Agile. The process keeps coming even in the era of lean and minimal process.

I remember learning about how Jesus the historical figure was fighting against organized religion and the large systems that man put together…. and then we see the Catholic church appear and recreating hierarchy and structure (and even infallibility).

I feel the same way when I see groups dismiss the heavy process, “go Agile”, and then build up a ton of hierarchy yet again.

I myself have spent so much time playing with process and tools, and haven’t realized that there are core truths that cross cut any of these creations:


If you have great people you have half the battle. The leverage that you get from a team of smart talented folk who enjoy working together is huge. They will fight through any barriers, and if you can wedge an opening for them they can do the rest.

Spending time hiring the best, and caring for the rest is key.


The leaders need to set direction. What is the next hill that we are trying to take on? The teams can then take on the challenge in an autonomous fashion. If they don’t have a mission they will stagnate, bore, or potentially take the wrong hill.

If you don’t take measurement, and acknowledge what you are measuring, then you are flying blind. Measuring the wrong things can be even worse than not having measurements.


Setting aside time to reflect and iterate is also key. This is where the people and the measures come together to change course and grow. If you can improvement over time the flywheel effect kicks in and you will soon start to fly.

Process can help with a lot of this. Bad process can hold back performance, but it is a multiple of the people involved.

I am trying to focus on the issues above these days. It isn’t always easy, but it is the right thing to do.