What Would It Take?

In her compelling and very readable new book Influence Is Your Superpower, Yale researcher Zoe Chance examines and discusses approaches to leadership and turns conventional wisdom on its head.

Perhaps the biggest takeaway from her ideas on persuasion is asking the simple, earnest question: “What would it take?” for the listener to agree to do something the speaker is trying to convince them to do. So I have been and will continue to apply that question to the political situation I’ve jumped into, and pose the question to Hampshire County voters as I urge you to unseat the incumbent: what would it take to convince you that the status quo is unacceptable, and what would motivate you to choose me as the replacement? These are the responses I’ve gotten from a wide variety of people so far: “If people in the jail were not getting services they need, or being mistreated,” “Corruption,” “Nepotism,” “Lying,” “If they promised something and didn’t do it,” “Unresponsive to the citizens,” “Favoritism and payback,” “No leadership,” “Being out of touch with what we need,” “Conflict of interest,” and more. I couldn’t have said it better myself, and the campaign is just getting started. So I’m going to pose some questions again, and ask you to connect the dots, please. Do you really know your Sheriff? Do you have any way to know what goes on in the Sheriff’s Office, which includes the jail, Community Corrections, Civil Process, and how the Sheriff’s Office works with the courts, Parole, and the communities in the county? Why is staff morale so low? Why are both new and senior staff leaving in droves? If you ask anyone who works there, they will almost never say that it’s about the people in custody; they’re not the problem. I never knew a thing about the Sheriff’s Office until I started working there, and I got a fast wake-up call that all was not as I had thought, and certainly not what I expected from a local government agency in my county. “That’s just the way it is,” I was told. As a taxpayer, voter, resident, and person who cares about fairness and what’s right on the most basic levels, I couldn’t stand by and let this moment pass without doing something. So I’m stepping up, and calling it out. We have an opportunity to bring about real, fundamental change, through education, social justice, integrity, treating people fairly, and just doing what’s right. We don’t have to accept the status quo, and Hampshire County deserves more. When we know better, we choose better. #KnowYourSheriff #KnowYourNextSheriff #YvonneForSheriff