Business lessons from the politics of the president
The President of the United States is one – if not the most influential CEOs in the world. As the campaign cycle continues to accelerate, here are a few lessons that all business leaders can learn from the president’s politics.
The world’s most influential CEO (George W. Bush) is about to retire in 16 months, and 20 men and women are already vying for the job – very publicly. They talk about how they will do things differently when they are selected, and they do everything they can to show how all the other candidates for the job are wrong.
When President Bush leaves office, many across the country will be grateful when the 24-month campaign cycle ends. But before you write that down in “just politics”, there are lessons to be learned from all the political maneuvers.
Leadership Lessons from Abraham Lincoln
Build enthusiasm early. In politics, the next campaign cycle begins the day after the next person is elected (sometimes earlier).Some of it may be misguided (see below), but there is no denying the enthusiasm that is already being felt for the campaign – especially in the teams for the candidates. What are you doing to build enthusiasm for an upcoming change in your organization? The key to organizational change is communication – whether it’s about changing the CEO or changing who covers the phones during lunch. You have to help people understand why it will be important for them to make the change, whatever it is.
Commit to technology and innovation. YouTube debates, podcasts, blogs … these candidates rely on technology and use new forms of communication like never before. You take creative risks and connect with a new generation of voters who don’t remember life without the Internet. What are you doing to bring Web 2.0 to your business? Does your management team have a blog? When was the last time you rewarded creative achievements in your organization? Whether internal or external communication, use the technology and resources you have – and try something new. Take calculated risks. Promote creativity. Remember the status quo does not require leadership.
Cultivate a farm team. In politics, there is always someone waiting in the starting blocks – sometimes more publicly than others. But from a public perspective, it doesn’t often look like political parties cultivate their future leaders very well. There is probably a strategy behind who runs when and which candidate ends up in the race, but that’s not always clear. Organizational leadership development often means going to a seminar or two and waiting for your turn. This approach does not prepare your company for long-term success. Have a succession plan and prepare yourself consciously for the future of your company.
Communicate the succession plan. Even with the political farm system in place, to this day there is no evidence that anyone is talking to the candidates about who has the greatest political strength at the moment, who is best prepared for the job, who can win the election, or any different equivalent of succession. Planning. It looks like 20 people fighting for the unit price – above all. To be successful, once you have built your farm team, you need to regularly communicate with these players about their goals, the goals of the organization, the extra work each person has to do to be successful, etc. Every person in your organization – or at least every senior and middle manager – should be able to tell you what his next position will be – and what not. By communicating the organizational plan and linking it to specific goals, your employees can see how they fit in with the big picture, and you can help ensure that your next managerial staff have everything they need to be successful from the start.
Focus the competition in the right place. The political struggles are just getting up. And when the preselection season is in full swing, the Democrats will enter into other Democrats while the Republicans try to chub the other Republicans. Of course it is important that voters hear the differences in each of the candidates. And of course the victory in the primaries is that