Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Screening Preferences

Pretend for a moment that Winston Churchill, Abraham Lincoln, Margaret Thatcher, Theodore Roosevelt, and Nelson Mandela work in your organization.

Assuming they would possess relevant experience, would any of them stand a serious chance of making it into the top job or even into senior management?

My guess is Thatcher might have the best odds, but as for the others? Hmm.

The next question is, "Why not?"


Cultural Offering said...

I think that a different set of skills are required to rise in business versus politics/policy.

Reverse the question. Ross Perot, Warren Buffett or Jack Welch - could they be elected President? I don't think so.

Businessmen and women usually make horrible political leaders. Political leaders usually make horrible business leaders. The mix, as the automakers and banks are proving, is often a compounded disaster.

Why? Having a small exposure to politics I was always surprised by the high level of self-promotion even among those politicians that I admired. The "best" decision in politics is often not made because of a constituency that could be affected. The currency in politics is votes and the real currency expended to get to the vote currency is amazing.

In my involvement, decisions that wouldn't take much time or thought in a business setting assumed a whole different complex dimension in the political world.

I think that you are right about Thatcher. Great question. I'd love to see your thoughts.

John said...

Different strokes for different folks. The rules of engagement are completely different for business and politics.

As for Thatcher, never had time for her, but she probably had b****