Charlie Baker is the Governor of Massachusetts. He has also served as CEO of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, a top-performing healthcare insurance provider. According to a Morning Consult poll, he has a 74% approval rating, making him the most popular Governor in America. He is the author of the new book, Results: Getting Beyond Politics to Get Important Work Done.
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- Your receiver is more important than your transmitter.” “You have two ears and one mouth.” Charlie learned at a young age the importance of being a good listener.
- What he learned when he lost his first race: “Charlie, you spend too much time with your customers and not enough time with your prospects.” We all would benefit from talking with people who disagree with us…
- In the fall of 2014, Charlie was struggling to find a secretary of transportation… This is a huge job within an administration. Charlie said he was looking for a 50% player – someone who thought you had real issues and wasn’t interested in making things just 5% better, but dramatically better. A friend recommended “Stephanie Pollack.” She was a well-known, well-respected liberal Democrat…
- Charlie’s work embraces openness and accountability. In the words, again, of John F. Kennedy, “Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.”
- He grew up the son of a moderate Republican father (who worked in the Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan administrations) and a liberal Democrat mother (a fierce advocate for education and services to support the most vulnerable in your community). His parents expected him and his brothers to participate in dinner table conversations about the issues of the day…
- The model his parents set led Charlie to never approach this work thinking that one side or the other was evil– or harbors bad intent.
- “Wedge issues may be great for making headlines, but they do not move us forward. Success is measured by what we accomplish together. Our obligation to the people we serve is too important to place politics and partisanship before progress and results.”
- People Are Policy – “Steve and I start here because you need to get this right or all else founders. This so-called soft stuff is in fact the hard stuff of governing,” the authors write. In many organizations, and especially in the public sector, more work is just piled upon existing staff and managers. Instead, building the team is synonymous with building the necessary people capacity, which may mean adding specific expertise in short bursts.
- Follow The Facts – Facts define the problem and provide points of navigation for a response. In addition to gathering data evidence, interviewing people and identifying points of pain brings the abstract down to the personal. Stories demonstrate real-world impact and establish concrete information that data alone cannot reveal.
- Focus On How – “How” is the bridge between the problems that emerge from the data evidence and the points of pain and meaningful impact. This two-part step—what to do and how to do it—ensures that proposed actions align with targeted results.
- Push For Results – Results are not an endpoint; they encompass objective evaluation. Once underway, the repetition of a particular cycle (measure, evaluate, adjust, repeat) leads to steady, sustainable results that can drive further progress.
- Charlie is not only about getting things done but about renewing people’s faith in public service.
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