Why be the best when it’s so much cheaper to play politics? Or is it…

I just got an email from a friend who also happens to be an architect. His message asked me to go online and sign a petition demanding that Target (the merchant) stop funding a candidate for the Minnesota governor’s race. According to his message, “…the candidate, Rep. Tom Emmer, is a far-right Republican who supports Arizona’s draconian immigration law, wants to abolish the minimum wage and even gave money to a fringe group that condoned the execution of gay people.”

Not exactly my kind of guy, but I wanted to do a little fact checking. I quickly found this link to a piece by ABC News with a little less vitriol and more information, including comments from Target.

Here’s the point:

The leaders of corporations (or architectural firms) who use their company coffers as a vehicle to express and support their own social-political views will reap the rewards of those actions, and quickly. The days of quiet, under the table, manipulation of the process appear to be over. No design firm has the number and diversity of clients as Target. But are you sure that all of your clients agree with your politics and religion? And why, for goodness sake, would a national company like Target stick it’s hand in the combine over a state election in Minnesota. What percentage of their customers shop in Minnesota?

Instead of wasting your time and money trying to game the system to your advantage, invest it in doing better work and attracting better people. Life is not now and never has been a zero sum game. For you to win, it is not necessary for someone else to lose.