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We're Hiring a New CEO

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Excuse me for a minute here, but someone straighten me out on something. Are we trying to put together a golf foursome here, or are we trying to hire a new president that can get our economy smokin’ and our country on a path to prosperity and greatness again. I mean, seriously? What’s with all this “likeability” nonsense?

Here’s a question for you. Let’s say you work for a company. You like your job, but the company is on the ropes. By the end of the year you could be trying to squeeze some Christmas presents and holiday cheer out of an unemployment check. They’re going to bring in a new CEO to try to turn things around, and you get to help them choose. So here you go … chose the new CEO:

A) Candidate 1 is a man with a wonderful personality -- a regular good guy with a friendly smile. He’s a bit narcissistic, but seems genuinely likeable. Likeability aside, he has a record of abject failure in the business world and seems to have a rather severe problem being honest. Pretty much every business venture he has started or invested in over the past few years have collapsed or is on the verge of doing so: His resume shows names like Solyndra, Fisker Beacon Power, Solar Trust, Nevada Geothermal, LightSquared and Tesla. But all of this is secondary, because he’s likeable.

B) Candidate 2 seems bit stiff … stuffy even. He’s not real quick with a quip or a genuinely warm smile, and he’s been seen wearing mom jeans. Candidate 2 does not seem like someone you would want to meet after work for a beer or a poker game Thursday night. You’ve looked at his resume, though, and all you see that he has a reputation for scrupulous honesty and business success after business success. He has shown a particular talent for taking companies or ventures on the edge of failure, or just weeks away from shutting down entirely and turning them into raging marketplace successes. The Salt Lake City Olympics, for instance. You’re concerned, though, because some say he’s not likeable.

Even a government-educated economic low-information voter – someone who couldn’t tell you the difference between a profit and a profit margin if his next case of Bud and his pickup truck depended on it -- would chose the man with the record of business success. Candidate 2.

Maybe our country, and you’re children’s future, would be better served if we just worked through this “likeability” nonsense and concentrated on the job at hand. We’re hiring a new CEO – a new Chief Executive Officer for the Executive Branch of Government. We have a politician and a businessman seeking the job. We’ve seen what the politician – the man with absolutely no private sector business experience whatsoever – has done with the job over four years. It isn’t pretty. Not even mildly cute. Maybe it’s time to consider the businessman. There’s a problem though … CEOs aren’t generally hired through democratic processes; politicians are. So this is going to take a massive change in the way medium to high-information voters approach the election. Low-information voters are a lost cause … so let them line up for their ObamaPhones and EBT cards while we try to outnumber them.

Now I think it’s pretty clear to all of us, no matter which side we’re on, who the better campaigner is out there. It’s Obama .. but why? That would be because campaigning is in the politician’s nature; not so much for the businessman. Let’s make it real simple:

Politicians ask for their jobs.

CEOs are asked to take the job.

Politicians campaign for their jobs.

Businesses campaign for the best CEO.

Nations don’t recruit presidents. You know the routine … a group of politicians; some seeking power, some genuinely wanting to make things better, place their names into contention and say pretty much anything they feel they need to say to get the job. When a business seeks a new leader they form committees, hire consultants, engage headhunters --- whatever they need to do to find the best available candidate for the position. When they find their guy, they ask him to take the job.

The CEO is pursued. The politician pursues.

The CEO doesn’t have to convince those company employees least-qualified to decide on a new boss that he’s the man for the job. The politician, in effect, does.

The decision the American voter faces in November is clear. Do you vote for the man who has done the best job of telling you what you want to hear .. the man pursuing the job with no real record of accomplishment or success? Or do you step into the voting booth and recruit the man with a proven record of business success – a man who might not be as glib or smooth at asking for the job – but a man who clearly has the better credentials to get the job done?

As they say: Use wisely your power of choice. Your children and grandchildren are watching --- and they’ll remember.

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