Often it’s not what a person says, but how he or she says it.
Bill Gates, one of the wealthiest people in the world — a person who builds things — says it one way.
John Boehner, one of the most powerful elected government officials in this country — a person who fights for his argument — says it another way.
They’re talking about the same problem.
Gates is effective, calmly stating the problem along with wisdom and confidence that the problem can be solved, and a proposal for what needs to be done. What’s at stake for him is the next generation.
Boehner is looking backwards, distorting, and blaming. He appreciates the problem mostly as a handy knife with which he can stab the opposition over and over again. He focuses on the emotion, without offering realistic hope for a solution. What’s at stake for him is the next election.
Gates is being honest, so there’s hope in what he says.
Boehner is being less than honest by selecting certain examples and blowing their importance out of proportion, in order win favor. There’s fear in what he says.
One of them speaks to large group of fully energized people.
The other speaks to an empty room.