Carly Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlett-Packard and California GOP Senate candidate, recently announced the launch of her 2016 presidential campaign. She is also the author of a new book, titled Rising to the Challenge: My Leadership Journey. Bringing a lot of executive leadership experience to the table she is fearless in taking on potential 2016 Democrat presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton. We sat down with Mrs. Fiorina to discuss her new book, why she thinks she’s the best candidate for president, what she’d do in her first 100 days, and she responds to the criticism about her time at Hewlett-Packard.
Congratulations Mrs. Fiorina on the release of your new book, Rising to the Challenge: My Leadership Journey! Can you give us an overview of the book?
Rising to the Challenge details the last several years of my life, including my battle with breast cancer and the loss of my beloved daughter. Throughout this book, I share how I’ve come to see lessons and blessings in these passages and point to the biggest problem facing our nation today— untapped potential.
What three takeaways would you like readers to leave with after reading your book?
First, too many people in our country lack the opportunity to use their God-given gifts to live lives of dignity, purpose, and meaning.
Second, we need leaders not managers. Managers are people who do the best they can within existing constraints and conditions, who tinker around the edges of a problem. We need leaders who do not accept what is broken simply because it has always been that way. These leaders will change the order of things and are able to see and seize possibilities. Effective leaders know the highest calling of leadership is to unlock potential in others.
Lastly, the political class who has been in and around government and politics for their entire lives may no longer be able to see the truth: our government must be fundamentally reformed and the system must be changed. Our government’s size, complexity, cost and power in our lives now work against the interests of the people. The potential of the people of America is being crushed by the weight of the government of America.
Congratulations also on your decision to run for President of the United States! What do you think makes you uniquely qualified to be President?
I understand how the economy works and how to get it growing again. I recognize how the world works and who’s in it. I’ve experienced how bureaucracies work and how to change them. I know how technology works and how to use it.
I also have an understanding of executive decision-making, which is a tough call in a tough time with high stakes, and I know what it means to be held accountable for these decisions.
If elected president, what would be your top three issues you’d address in your first 100 days?
There’s a lot to do in the first 100 days. Let’s start with day one. I’d make three phone calls immediately. First is to the Prime Minister of Israel because how we treat our friends is reassuring to our other friends.
I would also call the head of Iran – he might not take call, but he would get the message. I would tell him that we are going to impose sanctions, making it difficult to move money throughout the global financial system unless and until they open themselves up to full and unfettered inspections per UN agreements.
My third call would be to the head of Democratic Party. I would tell them, “We have work to do and I look forward to working with both Republicans and Democrats to get work done.”
Some have been critical of your time as CEO of Hewlett-Packard. Could you please respond to this criticism.
I’m proud of my record at HP. Together with the people of that great company, we led HP through the worst technology recession in 25 years. In fact, we doubled it in size to almost $90 billion. We took the growth rate from two percent to nine percent. We tripled the rate of innovation to 11 patents a day. We grew jobs because we transformed a company that was falling behind to one that was growing and succeeding.
What books or conservative-themed books, influenced your political philosophy?
I was very impacted by Margaret Thatcher’s The Autobiography, and, of course, the opinions and writings of my father, conservative jurist Joseph Sneed.
When you’re not running for president and large corporations, what does Carly Fiorina like to do for fun?
I love spending time at home with my husband, Frank, and our two Yorkshire terriers, Snickers and Max.