Wouldn't it be great if people announced their dysfunctions and hidden agendas at the start of a relationship rather than you having to discover it later?
Think about how much time you would save. You'd know right from the get-go whether or not you wanted to hire, date or vote for someone.
The FDA requires food labeling to alert us to potential hidden dangers packed inside seemingly harmless treats. I think we should do the same thing for people. They should come with warning labels clearly identifying what's really inside their box.
Here's my warning label wish list:
1. Coworkers would have their ulterior motives printed directly on their employee ID badges.
They could go right under their name and photo.
Imagine being in a meeting with "Mr. I don't care how many dead bodies I have to crawl over to get ahead." If you saw that printed on his badge, you'd know that you need to protect your back.
About to do a joint project with "Ms. talks a big game to impress the boss, but never keeps her commitments?" Make her put everything in writing before you start.
Working with "Mr. I never make my deadlines, but always blame others?" Copy the boss on the project plan, and make a note when you hit your marks.
And when Mr. "I'm passing time trying to avoid any real work" walks into the room, one glance at his badge is all the justification you need for completely ignoring him.
This could improve office efficiency better than Six Sigma ever did. Once the dysfunctionals at work have been outed, it's time to tackle Congress.
2. Congressmen should wear "sponsor" jumpsuits like race car drivers.
The size of each logo represents the amount of money each "sponsor" had donated to the campaign coffers.
Talk about transparency in government. A Congressman making an impassioned plea for less financial regulation won't be as readily able to claim patriotism as his motive if he has to wear a jumpsuit with a big Citibank logo on his chest.
Imagine a Congresswoman recommending we leave heath care to the free market. Yet as her arm raises in a dramatic gesture pointing toward the heavens, you see a huge insurance company logo covering her sleeve.
Every single voter will know exactly who owns whom. With transparency in government accomplished, it's time for the final frontier, personal relationships.
3. Potential romantic partners would have their dysfunctions tattooed on their backsides.
Nobody should have to go to work with "Momma's Boy" stamped on his forehead. But if it were discreetly tattooed on his hindquarters, potential partners would know his true nature before they merged checking accounts.
Imagine how much drama you would avoid if someone began to disrobe and you saw "Clingy, crazy person who suffocates people" flashing in front of your face.
Would you envision a future with a woman whose has "My mother was a nag, and I'll be one too" written in cursive on her rump?
What if you saw "My first love is golf," or "I'm a cheater." The divorce attorneys would suffer, but you'd be saved.
Maya Angelou says, "When people show you who they are, believe them."
My method makes her advice a lot easier to follow.
Business strategist Lisa Earle McLeod specializes in sales force and leadership development. A sought after speaker, she is author of The Triangle of Truth, a Washington Post Top 5 Business Book.