Thursday, August 22, 2013
Reagan-Thatcher v McDaniel-Clarke
My new favorite phrase came to me a couple of months ago through my friend Janis. We were at lunch and I was telling her about some exchange at work with a staff member (truly, I don't even remember what it was about anymore) and she said "OH -- you need this phrase -- as Margaret Thatcher said to Ronald Reagan, 'Ronnie, this is a notification, NOT a negotiation.'"
OMG -- I have gotten so much mileage out of this phrase. I LOVE it -- perfect when dealing with kids, family, husbands, staff members, friends, anyone -- I use it a lot.
Anyway, since I was going to write about it today, I decided to look it up on Google and while I still love the phrase, the original phrase and it's meaning weren't exactly what I thought...
I listened to an interview that James A. Baker gave when Thatcher died earlier this year and he was speaking about the great relationship that Prime Minister Thatcher and President Reagan had enjoyed. Baker spoke about how their relationship was "seamless" and that they never disagreed on anything. Reagan even asked Thatcher to speak for him on behalf of both countries. Baker also said that their close relationship "changed the arc of history".
Well, anyway, back to the phrase. Baker said that the only time he could even think of that Thatcher and Reagan disagreed was when Reagan decided to invade Grenada (it was a former part of the UK). Reagan called Thatcher the night before to tell her the US was going in and Thatcher replied, "<So,> Ronnie, this is a notification, not a consultation." -- so the words were slightly different, and the meaning different (at least to me).
Originally, I assumed that Thatcher was telling Ronnie the way it was, but instead she was shocked that they weren't consulting (or as in my preferred un-quote -- negotiating). Funny how words can be changed to fit the meaning you prefer -- and I do prefer my original and will keep it that way :)
So, I tell you all this to put my new favorite phrase out there for you to use -- you won't believe how much it comes in handy, people -- use it in a conversation today!
And in honor of the deep and good friendship of Ronnie and Mags, I want to thank my friend and co-worker Joanna Clarke.
Like Reagan-Thatcher, McDaniel-Clarke have a seamless and amazing friendship and working relationship. We may disagree a little more than they did, but I rely on Joanna to give me advice, counsel, and consultation often. And while I may sometimes decide that I am giving her a notification (And she has certainly notified me a few times too -- ha!), we have changed the arc for Community Partners of Dallas together. In October, we will have worked together for 7 years and I am planning on many, many more.