Kinchen: No one has to lose for Scottsdale to win

By Christie Lee Kinchen
Posted 5/21/20

We are truly fortunate to have such a packed field of candidates competing for a chance to lead our beloved Scottsdale.

I have had the opportunity to meet most of the pack, and I’m even …

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Kinchen: No one has to lose for Scottsdale to win

Posted

We are truly fortunate to have such a packed field of candidates competing for a chance to lead our beloved Scottsdale.

I have had the opportunity to meet most of the pack, and I’m even lucky enough to call some of them my friends. I salute them all in their candidacy.

I want to challenge my fellow residents to change your thinking about the crowded races; it’s an asset, truly. Let me explain.

Did you know it’s estimated that only 3% of the world is a twin? I feel I’m extra qualified to talk about competition, and also fairness, because I am a twin. As such, my entire life can be summed up in just two words “constant competition.”

Without my wombmate, Jenny (she is 30 seconds younger btw), right next to me, pushing me, excelling at literally everything she has ever tried, I relish to think how I would have ended up without her influence. I can tell you for sure I would not be the incredibly successful woman I am today.

Being a twin challenges you and helps you grow in unique and profound ways.

My clone helps me keep up-on-my-game. My flaws are highlighted by my sister, and that’s OK.

Competition between us stemmed from constantly being compared to each other, while we were also striving to be seen as individuals. Even though we were not raised to be competitive with each other, but rather cooperative and collaborative (thanks, parents!), it’s just a part of a twin’s psyche, much like politicians.

The ferocity of emotion we lash at each other is not understood by many who don’t have a twin or are parents to a pair. If we aren’t challenged, how do we grow into who we are born to be?

Here are just 5 ways our candidates will help Scottsdale win through their competition, regardless of who is elected.

To our candidates:

1. With a thick pack of candidates we stand to create more innovative ideas on how best to boost us forward in these unprecedented times. Let’s dial up the creativity! If you’ve met me, I think so completely outside-of-the-box, the box literally doesn’t exist.

I would love our candidates to show us their ingenuity and become a think tank! To be successful in a competitive race, you need to be at the forefront of new ideas. I challenge our candidates to give away their ideas for us to review and give feedback on; let’s make this collaborative.

I give away my ideas to my competitors all the time. Why? Because, I know at the end of the day I can execute them more masterfully than others and I know I’m in a league-of-my-own. When you have competition trying to overthrow you, you do business better.

I know this to be a fact as I am in the top .5% of all agents in the Arizona Regional MLS, by volume sold, for 2019, working in one of the most cut-throat competitive industries; residential real estate.

Daily I have tens of thousands of other agents potentially competing for the same work, breathing down my neck. Do I take that as a negative? Not a chance! If I want to do my best work for my clientele, I will constantly innovate to stand out. I always look forward to competing for listings because I get to show my chops and I personally live for that. Powerful leaders will share their ideas for the betterment of their communities. When they do, Scottsdale wins!

2. If we consider ourselves as the customers of the city, as residents, then this election process should help us screen the best candidates to run our city and spend our tax funds. This is a giant job interview, after all, for folks who will be working for us. With more choices, Scottsdale wins!

3. Competition shows us leadership qualities we may not otherwise see. If a candidate goes tacky and low, will they retaliate? How does that translate once they would be in charge of our city? Not a good look, my dudes. Show us how you work under extreme pressure and remember to be cool and kind and then Scottsdale wins!

4. With no competition, complacency and inefficiency is imminent. I’m successful in everything I attempt because of my creative-problem-solving and I’m always looking for the win-win. Please be creative and your ingenuity will help Scottsdale wins!

5. Competition almost always brings us higher quality. When we are seeking the best team, we need to have the players differentiate themselves so we can more clearly see their strengths and weaknesses. Let your competition fuel you and push you to be your best and Scottsdale wins!

When our candidates deny their competitive feelings, they may slowly start to distort those around them through a negative lens. Hey, it’s politics, I get it.

That leads to gossiping and toxic negativity, which is truly the single most ineffective way many attempt to release or relieve cynicism and anger.
Here is a very personal negative Scottsdale election example of poor sportsmanship:

In 2018, a local man who is currently in another city commissioner role resorted to insulting my looks in a feeble attempt to discredit my valid argument on a local proposition. I’m assuming the extremely distasteful remarks, made very publicly and proudly, were in lieu of any other logical argument from the other side.

When you find yourself experiencing enhanced self-esteem in response to others’ lower accomplishments or differing views, in order to make yourself feel powerful, that demonstrates a massive lack of internal strength. Let me hold up a mirror for you to see that is not an attractive leadership quality and definitely not anyone who deserves to wield an ounce of power!

I expect more of our leaders. Do you? And, if you want to fight me on any issue, get an argument that doesn’t involve my appearance. My looks are not on the ballot, because do I even have to type out that it’s 2020.

Also, I heard this was a hot topic lately about having a college degree to be on City Council. That’s just not a requirement for me. I will put it this way, my twin sister has a college degree and I don’t. I dropped out my junior year at U of A while studying economics to pursue real estate in 1999.

So, I’m a college drop out. But, the thing is, I’m so exceptional that no one cares. No one. That comes down to reputation.

When you prove you’re a badass, you don’t need a degree. Jenny and I earn the exact same income and co-own our boutique real estate brokerage together. We both have unique qualities that makes us an unstoppable partnership.

What she may have learned in a classroom, I learned in the school of really, really hard knocks.

When I’m searching for my ideal team to run Scottsdale, I’m looking for diversity in views and thinking representative of all of us, not just the elites! I remember when Jenny graduated from ASU Magna Cum Laude with a B.S. in marketing, I excitedly attended the graduation with my parents.

A couple in the bleachers asked who I was there to see and I said, “My twin sister!” They immediately replied “Why aren’t you out there?!” I don’t think I can ever truly articulate what a terrible gut punch that was for me in that moment. I go back to that feeling when I read what some are writing online.

I may not have a degree, but I’m beyond brilliant. *I should note that candidates are not currently required to have a college degree to run for City Council or mayor.

If you don’t like how our city is ran, please do something. Get involved. Don’t just complain, come up with solutions and actually do something. Get off of Facebook and stop your petty wars (I deleted that toxic trash). Learn our candidates and their positions. Vote in the primary. Also, consider joining a board or commission to help our leaders do their best jobs for our city. The more involved we are all in these decisions, the more Scottsdale wins!

To our candidates:

Be vulnerable. Tell your story. We want to know who you are.

Be visionary.

Also, May is mental health month (every month should be) and as a suicide attempt survivor who struggles daily with her mental health and being bullied, I beg you to be kind to one another and that’s how Scottsdale wins! 

Editor’s Note: Christie Lee Kinchen is an Arizona native and Scottsdale resident and business owner serving as Historic Preservation Commissioner and McDowell Sonoran Preserve Steward.

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