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Is Your Fear Real? Business Executive’s FOMO – State Government

Sep 05, 2018

With the advent of social media and other forms of instant communication (think Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter) there has been a rapidly growing psychological phenomena that impacts all of us more than it did 20 years ago.  It’s called FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out).  FOMO is what drives us to look for the latest and greatest, and it can quickly change our perceptions and decisions.  How I look at it, an unhealthy case of FOMO leaves us feeling helpless, jealous, anxious, and stressed. But, FOMO can be used to our advantage. The key is to seek out forms of effective connectivity so that your fear of missing out, doesn’t become real.

Based on a recent experience, I learned that one area where executives should focus their FOMO is on government.  In all levels of government, there are numerous opportunities to provide input on legislation, bid on state contracts, and enter into Public-Private Partnershpis. In the government arena, businesses, trade groups and organizations need to have people watching out for their interests – reporting and posting the latest intel in a timely fashion. It’s imperative to be proactive instead of reactive.  The most productive way to protect yourself is to gather insights and help from those who know where to go for information and how to position your group for strategic and financial opportunities – often times before the opportunities are publicly known. Many other businesses and organizations have someone representing them at the Capitol, you should too.

A few weeks ago, a CFO contacted me after he inadvertently picked up that a competitor might be attacking his company’s credibility – he panicked realizing that he wasn’t at the table to defend his brand. Instead of utilizing FOMO to be proactive about an opportunity before it made its way into the budget, he was forced to quickly move into reactive mode.  With a little digging, I was able to determine that the state legislature and his competitor were indeed planning an attack on his business’ reputation, including redirecting millions of state appropriations away from him and directly to his competitor. For him, the access and perspective he desired were unachievable without an insider’s voice, eyes, and ears to the ground at the State Capitol.  This business had a target on its back.

He sought out the assistance of the MLC team, and that effective connection not only gave him a seat at the table, it gave him the advocates he needed to reinforce his position, talk to multiple players, and in the end, beat back the attack.

Situations like this happen every day. But it doesn’t have to happen to you. So, what’s your FOMO in the state government space? And are you doing anything about it?

Michigan Legislative Consultants is a bipartisan lobbying firm based in Lansing, Michigan. Our team of lobbyists and procurement specialists provide a wide range of services for some of the most respected companies in America. For more on MLC, visit www.mlcmi.com or connect with us on LinkedIn and Twitter.